The negotiations between the State Attorney's Office and international Israeli model Bar Refaeli and her mother, Tzipi Refaeli are in the advanced stages, with the signing of a plea bargain imminent.
The parties exchanged draft plea bargain agreements in recent days, including agreements that Tzipi Rafaeli will serve a 16-month sentence. Bar Refaeli will be sentenced to nine months of community service without serving any time, and will pay a fine of NIS 10-15 million. The fine includes the NIS 8 million in taxes for which Bar Refaeli was assessed in a civil proceeding on her overseas income during two years. In the agreement, Bar Refaeli undertakes to retract her appeal to the Supreme Court on this tax assessment. If the plea bargain is signed, it will completely end all of the criminal and civil proceedings in Bar Refaeli's prolonged tax case.
Two legal theaters
The dispute over Bar Refaeli's residensy - whether she was a resident of Israel or the US for tax purposes during the relevant years - was split between two legal theaters. The first was civil proceeding, in which the state sought to assess Bar Refaeli for millions of shekels on her overseas income. The Lod District Court, which heard the case, dismissed Bar Refaeli's arguments, ruling that she owned tax in Israel on her income during these years. In this ruling, which Bar Refaeli appealed last July, the court found that Bar Refaeli had to pay NIS 8 million for the two years in question. The court also ordered Bar Refaeli to pay NIS 120,000 in court costs.
The second theater was the criminal one, in which the state accused Bar Refaeli of tax evasion amounting to tens of millions of shekels, and of defrauding the state in 2009-2012. In this case, Bar Refaeli and her parents Rafi and Tszipi Refaeli were charged, subject to a hearing, with defrauding the country out of millions of shekels through tax evasion between 2009 and 2012 regarding overseas earnings. Rafi and Tsipi Refaeli are also suspected of money laundering. The couple are suspected of concealing NIS 23 million between 2009 and 2012.
Presumption of innocence: Bar, Tzipi and Rafi Refaeli have not been convicted of any offence in the aforementioned affair. It should be stressed that even after it was decided to serve an indictment on them, subject to a hearing, they are still only suspects and are entitled to a presumption of innocence.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 11, 2020
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020