Court convicts Bar Refaeli and mother in tax-evasion case

Case centered on income earned abroad in 2009-2012, concealment of additional income and benefits in Israel.

Bar Refaeli and her mother, Tzipi, arrive at a Tel Aviv court for their hearing into the family's tax evasion case, July 20, 2020 (Credit: Yotam Ronen)
The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Monday convicted supermodel Bar Refaeli and her mother, Tzipi Refaeli, in their tax-evasion case in accordance with the plea agreement signed between the two and the State Attorney’s Office.
In June, a plea deal was reached in the Bar Refaeli tax-evasion case. The supermodel and TV hostess will receive a suspended sentence, pay a NIS 2.5 million fine, NIS 8m. in back taxes and do nine months of community service.
Tzipi Refaeli will serve a 16-month sentence and pay a NIS 2.5m. fine.
The case centered on Bar Refaeli’s income that she earned abroad in 2009-2012 and the concealment of additional income and benefits she received in Israel.
The case began in 2017 with Bar Refaeli’s arrest by the Israel Tax Authority on suspicion of having evaded taxes during the period in question.
Bar Refaeli said she was romantically involved with Leonardo DiCaprio during the years in question, and her life-center, a legal definition of where taxes are owed, was the US and not her native country. Tax Authority officials said she was actually living in apartments in Tel Aviv listed under the names of family members.
In 2016, Tzipi Refaeli was arrested on suspicion of having failed to report their complete income and of having misled the tax assessor, thus avoiding tax on income from abroad estimated in the tens of millions of shekels, Globes reported.
The indictment against the pair attributed most of the responsibility for the tax swindle to Tzipi Refaeli, which is why she bore the heavier sentence, the report said.