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Bar Refaeli: Israel convicts model of tax evasion

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Reuters

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The model and her mother were found guilty of tax evasion

Israeli top model Bar Refaeli has been given a heavy fine and sentenced to nine months of community service after being found guilty of tax evasion.

The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to charges of providing false tax returns while living abroad in order to avoid Israeli taxes.

The court in Tel Aviv ordered her to pay a 2.5m-shekel fine (£577,000; $730,000), in addition to arrears.

The model’s mother was also convicted of tax offences.

Tzipi Refaeli, who also acted as her daughter’s agent, was sentenced to 16 months in prison and also ordered to pay a 2.5m-shekel penalty and taxes owed.

The two women pleaded guilty and were sentenced under a deal agreed with authorities last month.

Israeli authorities began their investigation into the case in 2015.

Bar Refaeli admitted to not declaring her worldwide income for certain years, claiming that she spent most of the time abroad, although her lawyers said she had not intentionally avoided the tax payments.

Her mother, meanwhile, was convicted of signing property leases under the names of relatives to obscure the model’s residency status, among other charges.

The model, who previously dated US actor Leonardo DiCaprio and hosted the 2019 Eurovision song contest, has been involved in controversy during her career.

She has faced anger from the Israeli army for not completing military service and in 2018 appeared in a controversial advert featuring the niqab.

In 2015, her request to close the air space over her wedding venue sparked a row.

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Media captionBar Refaeli wanted a no-fly zone for her 2015 wedding

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