Mizrahi music pop singer and reality TV star Moshe Peretz was sentenced to four months of community service Tuesday after being convicted of tax evasion as part of a plea bargain.
Peretz was also given an eight-month suspended sentence and fined NIS 60,000 ($15,600) by the Ramle Magistrate’s Court, but avoided the two-year jail term requested by the Tax Authority.
In March, Peretz was convicted of avoiding paying taxes on NIS 1 million ($259,000) in income and NIS 140,000 ($36,000) on sales after pleading guilty as part of a deal with the prosecution.
He was ordered to volunteer at a nursing home in Rishon Lezion.
“I’m happy this saga ended in community service,” Peretz said after the decision. “The judge made the right choice and I have learned my lesson. I want to go home and continue to make art.”
The singer had maintained he blindly followed his agent, Amon Zindani, but the Tax Authority contended that Peretz’s evasion was entirely intentional.
“I was only able to see my success, and I regret that whole period,” he said at an earlier hearing. “Today I manage my books properly and I contribute to the community. I’ve learned my lesson.”
Zindani, who was also found guilty of tax evasion, was given community service as a punishment at an earlier hearing.
Peretz hosts “The X Factor Israel” reality show and made a name for himself singing infectious Middle Eastern pop tunes.
Peretz had admitted guilt as part of the plea deal, but later requested the statement be retracted so he could continue to work in television.
Kobi Peretz, another famous Mizrahi pop singer, was sentenced to two years in jail for tax evasion.