Bar Refaeli Convicted of Tax Evasion

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Bar Refaeli
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Bar Refaeli was convicted by an Israeli court on Monday on four counts of tax offenses, the Associated Press reports.

According to the outlet, the 35-year-old Israeli model arrived in the Tel Aviv courthouse wearing a white blouse and matching face mask, with her father, Raffi, mother, Zipi, and a team of lawyers by her side. AP reports that Refaeli and her mother confessed to offenses of evading paying taxes on income nearing $10 million.

Last month, Refaeli signed a plea bargain agreement with authorities in the long-standing tax evasion case against her and her family. AP reported at the time that the deal would require Refaeli to complete nine months of community service, while her mother would serve 16 months in prison. The two have also been ordered to pay a fine of $1.5 million, on top of millions of back taxes owed to the state.

ET previously reported that while the tax evasion investigation was first opened in 2015, the case dates all the way back to when Refaeli was in her early 20s and her mom was acting as her agent. The supermodel was suspected of tax evasion following concerns over her primary residence. Israeli tax law determines residency based on where the person spent most of the calendar year. At the time, Refaeli was dating Leonardo DiCaprio and appearing in high-profile modeling campaigns all over the world.

Refaeli initially claimed, according to AP, that she had not spent most of her time in her home country, and therefore "did not have to declare her worldwide income in certain years."

BBC News reported back in 2015 that the tax authority was investigating claims that Refaeli hid the fact that she was an Israeli resident, and allegedly failed to report millions of dollars in income and gifts. Refaeli's lawyer denied all the claims against her at the time, telling the outlet, "There is no drama. In the end, this is just a civil dispute. No one cheated anyone else. It will all clear up soon."

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