Israeli super model Bar Refaeli accused of tax evasion

She is expected to argue she was not resident in the country over the seven years she is accused of not paying


Israeli super model Bar Refaeli has been accused evading the equivalent of £7 million in tax through offshore accounts and shell companies.

Tax authorities said she avoided 33 million shekels in tax between 2005 and 2012 but she denies it was tax evasion, saying she was in a relationship with actor Leonardo DiCaprio at the time and not resident in the country.

Her lawyers hope to clear her name in a pre-trial hearing and members of Mr DiCprio's family will give evidence about the length of their relationship.

But authorities are expected to respond by saying Ms Refaeli, 33, spent enough time in Israel to be resident in the country.

They will also argue that she registered her assets in Israel under the names of her family members.

The Times of Israel reports that her legal troubles could lead to her being dropped as host of the Eurovision Song Contest, which Israel is hosting this year.

Her lawyers said: “This isn’t a dispute over tax evasion but a question of residency. We believe that ultimately the authorities will decide there’s no place for criminal proceedings.”

Her relationship with Mr DiCaprio ended in 2011. She later married an Israeli businessman and had two daughters.

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