Left Menu
Development News Edition

Israeli court sentences model Bar Refaeli for tax evasion

The 35-year-old Refaeli and her mother were convicted in July to offenses of evading paying taxes on income nearing USD 10 million. According to a a plea bargain accepted by the court, the two were also ordered to pay a USD 1.5 million fine on top of millions of back taxes owed to the state.

PTI | Telaviv | Updated: 13-09-2020 17:28 IST | Created: 13-09-2020 17:24 IST
Israeli court sentences model Bar Refaeli for tax evasion
Image Credit: Wikipedia

An Israeli court sentenced top model Bar Refaeli on Monday to nine months of community service and sentenced her mother to 16 months in prison, ending a prolonged tax evasion case that had sullied the image of a once beloved national icon. Refaeli entered the Tel Aviv courthouse in a beige T-shirt and wearing a light blue surgical face mask. She was accompanied by her father, Raffi, her mother, Zipi, and flanked by lawyers. The 35-year-old Refaeli and her mother were convicted in July to offenses of evading paying taxes on income nearing USD 10 million.

According to a a plea bargain accepted by the court, the two were also ordered to pay a USD 1.5 million fine on top of millions of back taxes owed to the state. Zipi Refaeli is set to begin serving her prison sentence next week. 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.

Still, she remains a popular TV personality and pitch-woman whose image is ubiquitous on highway billboards throughout the country. Last year, she hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. The case centers around Refaeli's residence during years when she traveled around the world in high-profile modeling campaigns, graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and had a lengthy romantic relationship with Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Israeli tax law determines residency primarily upon whether the person spent most of the calendar year in the country. Refaeli claimed that she hadn't and therefore did not have to declare her income during certain years. Prosecutors rejected her claim and charged her with providing incorrect tax information. Refaeli's indictment said she earned some USD 7.2 million between the years 2009-2012 while claiming to reside overseas to avoid paying Israeli 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 U.S. residence to avoid paying the full taxes she owed. Refaeli's lawyers said the plea bargain proved she had not intentionally evaded paying taxes. 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 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.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Uganda COVID-19 response: Was off to a good start but reopening dwindled prospects

Uganda has shown success in using health information to enhance efficiency of disease surveillance, reporting and monitoring. The success, however, has critical challenges confronting it as the country resumes normal activities....

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Videos

Latest News

UN builds momentum for restoring forests as world enters key decade for ecosystems

The world has made considerable progress in the past decade, according to the new edition of FAOs international forestry journal Unasylva, entitled Restoring the Earth - the next decade, since 63 countries, subnational governments and pri...

Centre has proposed to build double-decker flyover in Chennai: Gadkari

The Centre has proposed to build a double-decker flyover connecting Chennai Port with other vital locations in Tamil Nadu at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday. This would reduce traffic congestion in t...

Macron orders France back into COVID-19 lockdown

France will go back into a nationwide lockdown starting this week to try to contain the COVID-19 epidemic that is again threatening to spiral out of control, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an address to the nation on Wednesday.The...

Doctors of North Corporation-run hospitals call off strike

Doctors of North Delhi Municipal Corporation-run hospitals who have been agitating for the last several days over their pending salaries called off their stir on Wednesday, officials said. While five resident doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital h...

Give Feedback