Bar Refaeli appears in court in a face mask as she and her mother are convicted for tax evasion in Israel
- The model, 35, was today convicted of four counts of tax offences in Tel Aviv
- She and her mother confessed to evading paying taxes on a $10million income
- Refaeli is to serve nine months of community service
- Her mother, Tzipi, will be sent to prison for 16 months
- They have been ordered to pay $1.5million fine on top of the back taxes owed
Bar Refaeli and her mother have been convicted of tax evasion after a court appearance in Israel.
The model, 35, who entered the Tel Aviv courthouse with a white face mask, was convicted of four counts of tax offences earlier today.
The star and her mother, Tzipi, confessed to evading paying taxes on income nearing $10million (£8million), which brought the prolonged case to its conclusion.
Bar Refaeli, 35, who entered the Tel Aviv courthouse with a white face mask, was convicted of four counts of tax offences earlier today
The model and her mother, Tzipi, confessed to evading paying taxes on income nearing $10million (£8million)
According to a plea bargain agreement they signed with authorities last month, Refaeli is to serve nine months of community service while her mother will be sent to prison for 16 months.
The two are also ordered to pay a $1.5million fine on top of the millions of back taxes owed to the state.
The heart of the case revolves around Refaeli’s residence several years ago when she flew around the world in high-profile modelling campaigns, graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and had a lengthy romantic relationship with actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
According to a plea bargain agreement they signed with authorities last month, Refaeli is to serve nine months of community service while her mother will be sent to prison for 16 months
Israeli tax law determines residency primarily upon whether the person spent most of the calendar year in the country.
Refaeli claimed that she had not and therefore did not have to declare her worldwide income in certain years.
But prosecutors rejected her claim and charged her with providing incorrect tax information.
For instance, Refaeli’s indictment said she earned some $7.2million between the years 2009 and 2012 while claiming to reside overseas to avoid paying taxes on her income.
In previous appeals, an Israeli court ruled that Refaeli’s relationship with DiCaprio did not qualify as a ‘family unit,’ and therefore she could not claim his American residence to avoid paying the full taxes she owed.
Refaeli’s lawyers said the plea bargain proved she had not intentionally evaded tax payments.
Refaeli’s mother, who also acted as her agent, was charged with failure to report income, avoiding paying taxes and aiding someone else in evading tax payments.
The mother-daughter duo were also ordered to pay a $1.5million fine on top of millions of back taxes owed to the state
The indictment said she signed leases for her daughter under the names of other family members to blur Refaeli’s actual residency status and refrained from declaring her own income as her daughter’s agent.
The prolonged case, built around the celebrity model’s worldwide income and the family’s attempts to downplay her ties to Israel, damaged her well-crafted public image as an informal ambassador for the country.
But she remains a popular TV personality and last year, even hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.
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