Model Bar Refaeli said near plea bargain over tax offenses; mother could do time

Celebrity’s mother could reportedly take full responsibility for allegedly hiding millions in earnings from authorities and serve 6 months behind bars

Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, right, with her mother Tzipi Levin in their home. 2001. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, right, with her mother Tzipi Levin in their home. 2001. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

Supermodel Bar Refaeli is in the advanced stages of negotiating for a plea bargain aimed at preventing her from spending time behind bars for allegedly hiding tens of millions of shekels in earnings from tax authorities, Channel 13 news reported Sunday.

Refaeli’s mother, Tzipi, is also facing related charges, pending a hearing, of money-laundering and tax-dodging offenses.

One suggestion raised during talks is that her Tzipi Refaeli will admit to masterminding the tax and financial offenses and serve a six-month term in prison, preventing her daughter from being incarcerated, the report said.

Bar Refaeli would herself do community service instead. However, there are those in the prosecution who insist that the celebrity model also be sentenced to some time in prison, the report said.

Refaeli’s case has revolved around where she was required to pay tax during the years 2009-2012 based on the location of her home, in Israel or abroad. Authorities say that Refaeli lied in saying she lived mostly abroad, and failed to report the income, pricey gifts, and celebrity discounts she received during that time to Israeli tax authorities.

The model claims she knew nothing about efforts to conceal from tax authorities earnings during that period.

In July, she appealed to the High Court of Justice against a district court decision that ordered her to pay NIS 8 million ($2.3 million) for earnings abroad in the years 2009-2010 on which she had not paid tax.

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