Bar Refaeli Reaches Plea Deal in Tax Evasion Case
Bar Refaeli is settling a long-standing tax evasion case against her and her family. The 35-year-old Israeli model signed a plea bargain agreement with authorities Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. The outlet reports that the deal will require Refaeli to complete nine months of community service, while her mother, talent agent Zipi, will serve 16 months in prison.
AP also reports that the two are ordered to pay a $1.5 million fine, on top of millions of back taxes owed to the state. ET has reached out to Tel Aviv Magistrate and Refaeli's rep for comment.
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. At the time, Refaeli's lawyer denied all the claims against her, 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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