Supermodel Bar Refaeli Arrested For Tax Evasion

Supermodel Bar Refaeli was placed under arrest in her home country of Israel on Thursday morning for suspected tax evasion.

The internationally famous model’s legal troubles apparently revolve around a dispute over whether she actually lives in Israel or overseas and the income tax implications of same, which has been the subject of an undercover probe by government investigators for several months.

Millions of shekels (the Israeli currency) could be in play in the alleged concealment of income.

Her mom was also taken into custody on related tax charges. Cops reportedly raided their Tel Aviv home on Wednesday.

A Tel Aviv court released both on bail today, but mother and daughter had to surrender their passports and were ordered not to leave the country for six months. Bar Refaeli was reportedly questioned for 12 hours by investigators the day before her arrest.

The court released her on a bail amount equivalent to about $190,000 in U.S. dollars, plus an additional deposit of about $65,000 which apparently is required as a form of collateral when or if she leaves the country.

“The [tax] authority said that Refaeli didn’t report the free Range Rover and Lexus cars she received from car companies in exchange for published photos of herself with the cars. It also said Refaeli did not pay taxes on a luxury apartment in Tel Aviv, where she lives,” AP reported.

“Both women are accused of lying about the model’s residence to avoid paying up, as non-resident Israeli citizens aren’t required to report income they earned abroad,” the New York Daily News claimed.

The attorney representing Bar Refaeli, 30, denied the allegations and added that the civil dispute will be cleared up shortly and that “no drama” is involved.

Bar Refaeli, a former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and galpal of Leonardo diCaprio, supposedly has a net worth of about $20 million. She started modeling at age 11.

Bar Refaeli in Barcelona, Span
[Photo by Miquel Benitez/Getty Images]
Determining Bar Refaeli’s country of legal residence will go a long way to determining how huge a check she will have to write to the tax man, the Jerusalem Post explained.

“The supermodel was also asked why she claimed that she resided abroad. Tax officials say that Refaeli and her mother did not divulge tens of millions of shekels in income generated from her modeling work abroad. In response, Refaeli told investigators that she considered herself to be an expatriate, thus necessitating less tax payments to the Israeli government. Officials are trying to determine whether Refaeli can be considered a resident of Israel, which will go a long way toward determining the amount of taxes she needs to pay. “

In September, Bar Refaeli married wealthy Israeli businessman Adi Ezra at a ceremony at the Carmel Forest Spa Resort in Haifa, Israel.

Bar Refaeli in Madrid, Spain
[Photo by Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images]
Bar Refaeli also circumvented the requirement for Israeli men and women after they reach age 18 to serve in the country’s armed forces and was thus accused of being a draft dodger. “She had in the past stirred controversy when she evaded her two years of mandatory military service by marrying a friend of her father’s, only to divorce him a short while later,” AFP reported.

Bar Raefaeli was on the cover of the 2009 SI swimsuit issue and is the former host of The X Factor Israel in addition to various modeling gigs.

“Rumors of a supermodel accused of tax irregularities had swirled in Israel for weeks but a gag order lifted on Thursday revealed the country’s most famous face was at the center of the story,” the London Telegraph reported about the alleged tax troubles of Bar Refaeli.

[Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP]