Bar Refaeli, Israeli supermodel, has been ordered to pay a fine for attempting to avoid paying taxes on nearly 16 million NIS, or almost $4.5 million, between 2009 and 2010. The model claims that she spent the majority of her time in the United States during those years, but Israeli courts claim that her primary residence was still Israel.
The courts found that the supermodel spent 185 days in Israel in 2009 and 131 days in 2010. She claims that she spent the majority of her time in the United States with former boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio.
Refaeli’s mother was a former agent for her daughter and was a subject in a money-laundering scheme. Her mother is accused of lying to authorities on where her daughter lived during those years to help avoid paying higher taxes. Reports suggest that the model lived in Tel Aviv. Revenue from 2011 and 2012 may have also been concealed and amount to 23 million NIS.
Refaeli’s tax woes don’t stop there. The supermodel, who plans to appeal the Supreme Court’s decision, is said to have hidden six million shekels from tax authorities in a previous compromise agreement that she signed in 2009. The model, along with her parents, face indictment for tax evasion schemes as a result.
Judge Shmuel Bornstein claims that Refaeli failed to provide any real evidence that she had cut ties with Israel between 2009 and 2010. The judge found that the model’s center of life continued to be in Israel and that she was an Israeli for tax purposes.
The model did not have a permanent residence in the United States at the time. The judge found that her family and social ties were still rooted in Israel. DiCaprio chose not to appear and testify on the model’s behalf, and no evidence was presented on how the actor viewed the couple’s relationship at the time.
The model reportedly hid more than $6 million in income between 2009 and 2012. She reportedly told US tax officials that she was an Israeli resident and told Israel’s tax authority that she was a US resident during those years.
She is said to have rented and even purchased apartments in Israel during these years. Luxury items were also given to the model which she failed to disclose, such as luxury vehicles.
Tax evasion in the United States carries a fine of up to $500,000 with individuals having to pay up to $100,000 in fines.