Supermodel Bar Refaeli has been sentenced to nine months of community service by an Israeli court on charges of tax evasion. The two were originally arrested in 2015 after Bar and her mother made it appear as if model lived outside of Israel to pay less taxes. Accompanying them were Bar's father, Rafi, and their lawyers.
She was fined 2.5 million shekels ($721,000) and ordered to pay arrears, according to the decision issued by the court, confirming an earlier plea bargain. She is set to begin her prison sentence next week.
The prolonged case has considerably damaged Rafaeli's well-crafted public image as the informal ambassador of the country.
The model though still remains a popular face on TV in the country with her faces dominating billboards across the country. She even hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.
The case centres around Refaeli's residence during years when she travelled around the world in high-profile modelling campaigns, graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and had a lengthy romantic relationship with Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
Israeli tax law determines residency primarily upon whether the person spent most of the calendar year in the country. Refaeli claimed that she hadn't and therefore did not have to declare her income during certain years.
Her claim though was rejected by the prosecutors and she was charged for providing incorrect tax information.
Refaeli, now 35 and a mother of three and married to an Israeli businessman, had contended she was living overseas at the time and exempt from any Israeli tax bills.
Her mother and agent, Tzipi Refaeli, also had her 16-month prison sentence made official after they were accused of misleading tax authorities about Bar's earnings and whereabouts from 2009 to 2012, during which she is estimated to have raked in $7.2 million.