Bar Refaeli to be hit with money laundering charges

Supermodel Bar Refaeli is expected to be indicted soon for money laundering.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli prosecutors are expected to indict supermodel Bar Refaeli soon on tax evasion charges. The main charge is money laundering, according to the Ynet news site.

Refaeli and her mother, Tzipi, who worked as her agent, will be charged with hiding income amounting to millions of shekels, according to Ynet. The tax authority finished its investigation recently and passed along its findings to the attorney’s office, which checked the case and will submit charges soon, reports Ynet.

Refaeli and her mother have been investigated by the tax authority a number of times in the past on suspicion of tax fraud. The report says that according to Israel’s Channel 10, the investigators focused on the years 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2012, when Refaeli was the girlfriend of actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Refaeli also was suspected in a 2015 tax investigation of hiding facts about her place of residence from an Israeli tax assessor. According to Israel’s tax law, an Israeli resident would be liable to pay income tax on all income earned abroad whereas a foreign resident would only pay taxes on income generated within Israel. The Tax Authority alleges Refaeli falsely claimed to be living outside of Israel to avoid the higher taxes.

She is also accused of receiving “celebrity benefits,” which she failed to report, including a discount on designer goods and an SUV.

Parallel to the criminal investigation, Refaeli is facing civil proceedings. Ynet reports that the prosecutors say they have enough evidence to charge Refaeli and her mother with very serious tax crimes.