Bar Refaeli, one of the hosts of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, has been convicted of tax evasion by a Tel Aviv court. In court, she pleaded guilty to charges of providing false tax returns whilst living abroad to avoid paying Israeli taxes.
Refaeli, who is also known worldwide as a model, was fined 2.5 million shekels (around €629,300) and sentenced to community service for nine months. The investigation into the fraud case began in 2015, before she hosted the contest last year.
Income not declared
In 2013, Forbes Israel estimated her net worth to be around $20 million, making her the highest paid model in Israel.
In a court hearing earlier this week, she admitted to not declaring her worldwide income for several years, however she claimed that during these years she spent most of her time outside of Israel. Her lawyers stated that she had not intentionally avoided paying Israeli tax during these years.
Her mother, Tzipi Refeali, who acted as Bar’s agent, was also found guilty of tax evasion and was issued a prison sentence of 16 months and a 2.5 million shekel fine.
Bar Refaeli’s Eurovision outing
Last year, in Tel Aviv, Bar was one of four hosts for the Eurovision Song Contest, and presented the main segments of the contest alongside Erez Tal. The green room segments were presented by Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub.
She was first reported to be one of the Eurovision hosts by Israeli media in early January 2019 with her pay for the contest estimated to be around 100,000 Israeli shekels (€25,000). A week later, she was officially confirmed as one of the hosts by KAN and the EBU.
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