Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli suspected of tax evasion

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Bar Refaeli failed to report income totaling tens of millions of shekels’.

Israeli tax officials are alleging Thursday that supermodel Bar Refaeli and her mother, Tzipi, failed to report tens of millions of shekels in income earned for work done abroad.

Bar Refaeli, one of the world’s most famous supermodels, has been questioned for 12 hours by Israel’s authorities over allegations she evaded paying large sums in tax. Authorities lifted a gag order on Thursday permitting the press to report that Refaeli was questioned for hours by tax officials in Tel Aviv as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged financial irregularities. Israeli media had dropped strong hints over the last 24 hours as to the model’s identity, mentioning she had attended the interview with her wealthy businessman husband. We will respect her and we will continue to probe things that did not add up during a review of records.” The Tax Authority agreed to allow her to send a representative to court instead of having to make the appearance herself.

Refaeli, the former girlfriend of actor Leonardo DiCaprio, married the Israeli billionaire Adi Ezra in a high-profile ceremony near Haifa earlier this year. At a hearing at Tel Aviv magistrates court on Thursday, the model was told she would only be allowed to leave Israel with the authorities’ approval and after providing a $65,000 bond. Refaeli’s lawyers have rejected the allegations. “This is a taxation issue that raises the discussion of who is considered a resident of Israel,” Giora Aderet said. Tax authorities suspect that Refaeli paid the designer – who was also questioned – NIS 40,000 for work that is believed to be valued at NIS 100,000.

The designer acknowledged that he did, in fact, give Refaeli a significant discount in exchange for which she would offer public relations services on his behalf. The model, who started in the business when she was 11, was propelled to fame when she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimwear edition in 2009 and in recent weeks has featured in the latest Agent Provocateur lingerie catalogue. Officials say that Refaeli did not report receiving the gift, and that in lieu of payment, she made promotional appearances and did public relations work on behalf of the car manufacturer from whom she accepted the vehicle. In response, Refaeli told investigators that she considered herself to be an expatriate, thus necessitating less tax payments to the Israeli government.

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