Supermodel Bar Refaeli’s Mother to Be Released After Serving Half Her Prison Term

Efrat Neuman
Efrat Neuman
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Tzipi Refaeli and Bar Refaeli outside of the Tel Aviv courthouse, July 20, 2020.
Tzipi Refaeli, center left, and Bar Refaeli, center right, outside of the Tel Aviv courthouse, July 20, 2020.Credit: Yariv Katz
Efrat Neuman
Efrat Neuman

Tzipi Refaeli, mother of Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, will be released after serving half of her 16-month sentence, a prison parole board said Wednesday.

Tzipi Refaeli has been convicted in a tax evasion case in which she and her daughter were implicated. She is now expected to be released in late May, having served eight months of her sentence.

As a condition of the early release, the elder Refaeli will be required to report regularly to the police for the remaining eight months, to remain under house arrest at night and to do community service. She will also be barred from leaving the country. Under the terms of the plea agreement, her daughter, Bar, was obligated to do nine months of community service but was spared jail time in an arrangement approved by the Tel Aviv District Court.

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Tzipi Refaeli was initially charged in part with providing false information and failure to report income to avoid paying taxes or to aid someone else in evading taxes. Bar Refaeli was charged with providing incorrect information without legal justification.

The plea agreement requires the family to pay any outstanding taxes that the tax authorities determine are due, in addition to a 5 million shekel ($1.5 million) fine. Bar Refaeli also agreed as part of the plea to withdraw pending tax appeals filed for the years 2009 through 2012.

At issue in one of the tax appeals that Bar Refaeli filed was the question of which country was the center of her life for tax purposes at a time when she was in a relationship with American actor Leonardo DiCaprio. She claimed that the center of her life at the time was the United States, but was ordered in 2019 to pay 8 million shekels in Israeli taxes for 2009 and 2010, based on a finding that she resided in Israel during that period.

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