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Bar Refaeli’s mom released from jail after serving half of tax evasion sentence

Tzipi Refaeli spent eight months in Neve Tirtza women’s prison in Ramle; daughter was handed nine-month community service sentence

Tzipi Refaeli seen after her release from Neve Tirza Prison in Ramla, May 24, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Tzipi Refaeli seen after her release from Neve Tirza Prison in Ramla, May 24, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Israeli model Bar Refaeli’s mother, Tzipi Refaeli, was released from prison Monday after serving half of a 16-month jail sentence for tax evasion.

Refaeli was granted early release from prison by the Israel Prison Service’s parole board on Tuesday, after serving eight months in Neve Tirtza women’s prison in Ramle following a recommendation by the State Attorney’s Office and the Israel Prison Service’s parole board.

She will now be required to attend a rehabilitation program, where she will meet with a social worker once a week and attend a support group for women convinced of similar offenses.

She will also perform community service at a center for children with disabilities.

Israeli top model Bar Refaeli, center, wearing a face mask at court along with her mother, Tzipi, left, her father, Raffi, center, and lawyers, in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 20, 2020 (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, Pool)

Two months ago, Refaeli filed for a pardon after contracting the coronavirus in prison in January. It was rejected by the Pardons Department of the Justice Ministry. Her family said she was at serious risk due to her heart condition.

Both mother and daughter were sentenced in September 2020, ending a prolonged tax evasion case that had sullied the image of a once-beloved national icon.

Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli arrives for a court hearing at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, July 20, 2020. (Yariv Katz/POOL)

Bar Refaeli, 35, began serving her nine-month community service sentence in September. She was placed at the Beit Noam school in Kiryat Ono, an educational center for adults with severe disabilities where they can continue learning after the state-funded special education system cuts out at age 21.

Both were convicted last July of offenses of evading paying taxes on income nearing $10 million.

According to a plea bargain accepted by the court, the two were each ordered to pay a NIS 2.5 million ($1.5 million) fine on top of millions in back taxes owed to the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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