The tax evasion case against Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli in her home country finally came to an end recently, as various outlets report that Refaeli has pled guilty to tax evasion by a court in Tel Aviv. As a result of the plea deal, Refaeli and her mother Tzipi Refaeli will pay fines of 2.5 million shekels – about $730,000 each – as well as nine (and in her mother's case, sixteen) months of community service.
That's in addition to the back taxes owed the Israeli government in the first place, which come to about $2.3 million in American dollars. That stems from income that Refaeli made in her modeling career between 2009 and 2012, while Refaeli claimed her primary residence was with sometime-boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio in the United States, but Israeli tax officials argued this was merely an attempt to evade paying income taxes in her home country.
Those officials said that Refaeli used her relationship with DiCaprio as an easy tax dodge, and that she was actually living in Israel for most of the period in question. Israeli tax law says that if you spend the majority of a calendar year in the country, you have to declare your income and pay the relevant tax, and Refaeli's claim that her relationship with DiCaprio constituted a "family unit" residing in the US was rejected by the court.
Refaeli and her mother (who acted as her financial agent during the period in question) signed a plea bargain with the state agreeing to the fines, the community service, and the back taxes, but in a press statement Bar's lawyers say the whole thing happened without her knowledge:
"In the relevant time period, Bar was in her early 20s, was working as an international model and was not involved in financial matters."
The tax evasion charges against Bar Refaeli and her mother come from almost $10 million in income from between 2009 and 2012.