Bar Refaeli, Mom Arrested for Tax Evasion

Israeli supermodel allegedly skirted taxes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2015 3:23 PM CST
In this May 1, 2012 photo file photo, Israeli model Bar Refaeli plays a seductress on a film set in Eilat, southern Israel.   (AP Photo/Dan Balilty, File)

(Newser) – Bar Refaeli, Israeli supermodel, draft-dodger, and ex-galpal of Leonardo DiCaprio, has been arrested for alleged tax evasion, AFP reports. Israeli authorities say Refaeli lied about her residency in order to skirt taxes on millions in income from abroad; she's also suspected of failing to report benefits (like free luxury accommodations and cars) worth $257,000. Refaeli's mother was also arrested on suspicion of evading taxes. The arrests came about during a raid Wednesday after an undercover investigation; Refaeli and her mother were released on bail Thursday.

As AFP explains, Israeli citizens don't need to report income from outside the country if they are not residents of Israel, and the Tax Authority is accusing Refaeli and her mother of making it appear as if the model did not live in Israel for that reason. Refaeli is suspected of living in apartments registered under the names of her mom and her brother. She also allegedly drove a Range Rover and a Lexus for free, without registering them in her name, in return for allowing herself to be photographed in them, and she and her mother are suspected of failing to report "celebrity discounts" they've received as income. Refaeli denies the allegations, the BBC reports, and her lawyer says "there is no drama" and "it will all clear up soon." (Read more Bar Refaeli stories.)

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