Israeli top model Bar Refaeli sentenced in tax evasion case

Israel Top Model Bar Refaeli Sentenced In Tax Evasion Case

Bar Refaeli Sentenced to Community Service in Tax Evasion Case

Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli was sentenced on Sunday to nine months' community service and her mother was ordered jailed for 16 months for tax evasion on earnings from her global career.

Refaeli entered the Tel Aviv courthouse in a beige T-shirt and sporting a light blue surgical face mask.

The court found Bar Refaeli guilty of four counts of tax offenses and her mother, fellow model Tzipi Levine, admitted to evading taxes on income worth close to $10 million.

She was fined 2.5 million shekels ($721,000) and ordered to pay arrears, according to the decision issued by the court, confirming an earlier plea bargain.

Bar Refaeli has been sentenced to nine months community service for tax evasion.

Earlier, an Israeli court had ruled that Refaeli's relationship with DiCaprio did not qualify as a "family unit", and therefore she could not claim his USA residence as her own residence to avoid paying the full taxes she owed.

Zipi Refaeli is set to begin serving her prison sentence next week.

The case covers a period when Refaeli was in a relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio and frequently travelling around the world for modelling campaigns.

The Israeli tax law determines residency primarily upon whether the person spent most of the calendar year in the country.

Refaeli's lawyers initially denied the accusations and claims that the case will eventually clear up.

Speaking in 2015, the legal representative said: "There is no drama". No-one cheated anyone else.

The supermodel argues that she only earned $7.2 million between 2009 and 2014.

In a previous appeal, an Israeli court ruled that her relationship with Refaeli and DiCaprio did not fall under the "family unit", so she could not claim her United States residence in order not to pay the full tax owed.

However, an Israeli court appealed that Refaeli's relationship with the 45-year-old actor is not considered a "family unit", so she can not claim his USA residence and avoid paying taxes in Israel. In short, she became an accessory to her daughter's crime of evading tax payments.

But prosecutors said she had been living in luxury homes in Israel leased by her mother and other relatives to hide her residency status. Again, she failed to record as income.

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