07:57 GMT +320 July 2019
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    Bar Refaeli arrives for the opening ceremony and the screening of the film La Tete Haute (Standing Tall) at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 13, 2015.

    Israeli Model Bar Refaeli to Be Indicted for Tax Evasion, Perjury

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    Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli was notified on Thursday that she would be facing an indictment for a series of tax evasion offenses, including money laundering, that resulted in millions of dollars going unreported to authorities.

    Refaeli is also facing a perjury charge which is linked to her June 2017 court testimony in which she argued against fraud accusations put forth by the Israel Tax Authority. It's also been alleged that she created companies abroad and established foreign bank accounts to hide her unclaimed earnings, the Times of Israel reported.

    Israeli media reports have also suggested that the supermodel could be charged ahead of a pending trial.

    Officials with the Israel Tax Authority first began their investigation of Refaeli in 2015 after discovering that the model had failed to report so-called "celebrity discounts" that amounted to some $250,000, according to i24 News. At the time, no charges were filed.

    Digging further into her finances, officials found that Refaeli hid a whopping $6 million in income from 2009 to 2012 by lying about her primary place of residence and failing to declare luxury items she received in exchange for publicity.

    During that period, Refaeli informed Israeli tax authorities that she had been primarily living in the United States, at times with her then-boyfriend actor Leonardo DiCaprio, the Jerusalem Post reported, noting she also told US officials she'd been living in Israel.

    However, it was later determined that the model had been primarily living at apartments in Tel Aviv that were owned by her relatives. Per i24 News, Israeli laws indicate that non-residents only pay taxes on money made in the country, and that one's residence is determined by the total of days spent in Israel.

    An assessment of one's "center of life" is also taken into consideration when determining an individual's residence status.

    Refaeli's legal team told the The Times of Israel that she has not committed any wrongdoing, stressing that they are optimistic that the case will be quickly dismissed by a judge.

    Tzipi and Rafi Refaeli, the model's parents, may also face money laundering and tax evasion charges in a separate fraud case recently revealed by tax authorities. "The prosecutor's office has informed Bar Refaeli, Tzipi Refaeli and Rafi Refaeli that it intends to charge them for fiscal fraud," a statement from Israel's Ministry of Justice reads.

    The latest development comes just days after a Hadashot news report revealed on Tuesday that tax officials had been using a tracking device for two years to record all of Bar Refaeli's movements, as well as those of her brothers.


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    tax evasion, Perjury, Money Laundering, model, Bar Refaeli, Israel
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