Bar Refaeli’s mother set for jail in plea bargain deal with Israeli tax authorities

The Israeli supermodel, who is alleged to have broken Israeli tax rules, would be sentenced to community service


Tzipi Levine Refaeli, the mother of international supermodel Bar Refaeli, appears set to serve a 18-month prison sentence in an apparent plea bargain deal.

Israeli media reports that the arrangement with the State Attorney’s office would see the elder Ms Refaeli jailed for masterminding her daughter’s tax evasion.

Bar Refaeli herself would only be sentenced to community service.

The supermodel is being sued in simultaneous civil and criminal proceedings for allegedly not reporting 23 million shekels (£5.1 million) in earnings between 2009 and 2012.

During those years, when Bar Refaeli was in a highly publicised relationship with the Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, she claimed she was resident in the US.

However, the Israel Tax Authority investigated the matter and claims she spent more than 180 days in each of those years in Israel, making her an resident and liable to pay tax.

In the civil case, the Lod District Court found in favour of the tax authority and ordered her to pay 8 million shekels (£1.8 million) in income tax, although Bar Refaeli is appealing to the High Court of Justice on the matter.

In the criminal case, Bar Refaeli’s mother Tzipi Levine Refaeli, herself a former international model, is also charged with conspiring with her daughter to conceal the money.

Under the plea bargain being negotiated, Tzipi Refaeli would plead guilty to the more serious charges of money laundering and tax evasion and receive an 18-month sentence, while Bar Refaeli would plead guilty to the lesser charge of tax evasion and receive only community service.

She would also drop her appeal to the High Court in the civil case and agree to pay the outstanding 8 million shekels in tax.

Any plea bargain agreement would ultimately be subject to the approval of the Israeli courts.

Some in the State Attorney’s office are reportedly opposed to any deal that would allow Bar Refaeli to avoid jail.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive