Israeli court sentences top model Bar Refaeli for tax evasion

Bar Refaeli.
Bar Refaeli.

TEL AVIV • An Israeli court on Sunday sentenced the country's most famous model, Bar Refaeli, to nine months of community service and a large fine for tax evasion.

Refaeli, who in the past dated Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, was convicted in July of giving false statements about her periods of overseas residence in order to evade Israeli taxes.

The 35-year-old, a mother of three, was in court wearing a face mask to hear her sentence.

She was fined 2.5 million shekels (S$991,000) and ordered to pay arrears, according to the decision issued by the court, confirming an earlier plea bargain.

Refaeli's community service will be at a facility in a Tel Aviv suburb aiding people with severe physical and mental disabilities, beginning next Monday, according to the ruling.

Israeli citizens who are not residents are exempt from reporting income from outside the country to Israel's tax authorities.

Her mother, Mrs Tzipi Refaeli, was sentenced to 16 months in prison over multiple tax charges.

She was also ordered to pay 2.5 million shekels in addition to tax arrears.

The ruling ends a long-running case in which the model was first arrested and questioned in December 2015.

The swimsuit model stirred controversy when she evaded her two years of mandatory Israeli military service by marrying a friend of her father's, only to divorce him a short while later. She is married to Israeli businessman Adi Ezra.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2020, with the headline 'Israeli court sentences top model Bar Refaeli for tax evasion'. Print Edition | Subscribe