After years of legal wrangling in a tax evasion case, famed Israeli model Bar Refaeli has reached a plea deal with authorities in her native country.
On June 9, reports confirmed that Bar, 35, will avoid prison time — the model, who gave birth to her third child with husband Adi Ezra in January, will serve nine months of community service.
However, her mother, former fashion model Tzipi Levine Refaeli — who served as Bar's agent — will spend 16 months in prison. The women will also each pay $720,000 in fines as well $2.3 million in back taxes, according to The Times of Israel.
The thrust of the case centered around the former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model's claims that Israel wasn't her country of residence early last decade because she was traveling the world and dating and staying with Los Angeles-based love Leonardo DiCaprio.
She held that she didn't have to pay Israeli taxes on her global income in her native country because of this, but prosecutors didn't buy it: In an indictment, they claimed she earned $7.2 million between 2009 and 2012 that she didn't declare. Authorities also accused her of failing to declare expensive gifts and celebrity discounts she received, as required by Israeli tax authorities.
Bar's argument that her at-times serious relationship with Leo made them a "family unit" in America — though they were never engaged or married — was also rejected by Israeli courts, ABC News reported. Prosecutors alleged that Bar spent more time in Israel than she'd led authorities to believe, often living in apartments her mother rented for her in other family members' names.
The model's lawyers insist that she wasn't intentionally being shady. "The plea deal makes it clear once and for all that Bar Refaeli did not intend to evade taxes," they told Israeli's Channel 13, as reported by The Jerusalem Post. "There's no question about the fact that during the dates specified, Bar was in her early 20s, was working as an international model and did not deal with the financial parts of her job. Now Bar will be taking responsibility for the mistakes that were made and will pay the necessary price for them."
Bar's mother had been charged with failure to report income, avoiding paying taxes and aiding another person with evading tax payments. She also reportedly failed to declare much of her own income.