The taxation and economic section of Israel’s State Prosecutor’s Office has notified super-model Bar Refaeli and her parents, Tsipi and Rafael Rafaeli, that prosecuting them for tax offenses is being considered, subject to a hearing. Tsipi and Rafael Rafaeli are also suspected of money laundering. In totsal, the international supermodel is suspected of concealing NIS 29 million in income.
Bar Refaeli is suspected of filing tax reports stating that she did not reside in Israel, and which did not include income from her work outside of Israel. A compromise agreement was signed in 2009 under which tax would be paid on all of Bar Refaeli’s income in both Israel and overseas in 2005-2007. It is alleged that Bar and Tsipi concealed NIS 6 million in income in the framework of this agreement.
Bar Refaeli later founded companies overseas and opened overseas bank accounts in which she deposited her income. The suspects filed tax returns and statements of capital that Bar Refaeli had no income in Israel and did not reside in Israel. The suspects allegedly gave the tax assessor false information and concealed relevant information in assessment discussions in 2009-2012 in order to cover up Bar Refaeli’s connection with Israel. At the same time, Bar Refaeli made representations to the US tax authorities in which she stated that she lived in Israel, not the US.
Bar Refaeli is suspected of concealing over NIS 23 million in income in 2009-2012.
Among other things, Bar Refaeli allegedly rented and purchased apartments in Israel during this period. Due to Bar and Tsipi Refaeli’s concern that these facts would be used by the tax assessor as evidence that the center of Bar Refaeli’s life was in Israel, they omitted her name from registration of the apartments, while making false representations to the authorities.
Tsipi Refaeli is also accused of concealing NIS 3 million in income from a fee received by Bar Refaeli for her activity as Bar Refaeli’s agent by depositing it in overseas bank accounts registered to Bar Refaeli or a company under her control. The Israel Tax Authority requested bank statements for Bar and Tsipi Refaeli from the overseas bank, which were delivered only two years later, following legal proceedings instituted by the Tax Authority.
Bar and Tsipi Refaeli are also accused of making foreign currency deals that generated millions of shekels in income without making the legally required reports on it, as well as Bar Refaeli’s income from rent and the use of luxury vehicles in exchange for advertising and public relations. Tsipi and Rafaeli Refaeli also allegedly committed money laundering offenses by declaring that they were the beneficiaries of accounts whose actually beneficiary was Bar Refaeli.
The suspects have the legal right to a hearing at the taxation and economic section of State Prosecutor’s Office before it is decided whether to file an indictment against them.
The taxation and economic section of State Prosecutor’s Office is handling the case. The investigation was conducted by the investigative tax assessment official for Tel Aviv in the Tax Authority.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on January 3, 2019
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