(photo credit: Courtesy)
The State Attorney’s Office informed Bar Refaeli on Thursday that she will be facing an indictment on charges of tax fraud.
The supermodel was told that, pending a hearing, she will likely be charged with tax evasion, money laundering and perjury. The charges date back to incidents beginning in 2006, and the Israel Tax Authority has been investigating Refaeli for years. News of the investigation first broke in 2015, but Refaeli has yet to be indicted on any charges.
The allegations include claims that the supermodel hid millions of shekels of income from the Tax Authority; that she lied about her primary place of residence; and that she received several luxury items in exchange for publicity that she did not declare to tax officials.
The notification from the state attorney on Thursday charged that from 2006-2007, Refaeli claimed that she did not live in Israel and also charged that she concealed NIS 6 million from the tax authorities.
The statement also says that from 2009-2012, Refaeli told tax officials in the United States that she was a resident of Israel and likewise told tax officials in Israel that she was a resident of the United States. According to the pre-indictment notification, the supermodel hid more than NIS 23 million from tax authorities during that time.
During part of this period, Refaeli was dating US actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and claimed to be living with him at times. Officials believe she was actually living in apartments in Tel Aviv listed under family members.
Refaeli’s parents, Tzipi and Rafi Refaeli, are also likely to face money laundering and tax evasion charges linked to the case.
Refaeli has been rumored for more than a month to be one of the hosts of the 2019 Eurovision in Tel Aviv. The European Broadcasting Union has yet to officially announce the hosts, and the impending indictment could leave her out of the job. KAN said Thursday that no final decision has been made about the Eurovision hosts.
Refaeli’s attorney, Moshe Mizrahi, told Ynet on Thursday that the tax authorities are reneging on a deal she signed in 2009 and the case has “been blown out of proportions... all of the agreements were on the table, she hasn’t hidden anything.”
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