A parole board Tuesday granted a request to shorten the prison sentence of Tzipi Rafaeli, the mother of Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli. She is expected to be released on May 22.
Last September, Rafaeli was sent to 16 months in prison in a plea bargain for tax evasion of up to NIS 34 million, with her daughter sentenced to community service and both ordered to pay a fine of NIS 2.5 million.
Defense attorneys had argued that Bar Refaeli, a paparazzi favorite during a romantic relationship with Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, did not have to declare to Israeli tax authorities worldwide income between 2009 and 2012.
The model, now a 35-year-old mother of three who is married to an Israeli businessman, had contended she was living overseas at the time and exempt from any Israeli tax bills.
But prosecutors said she had been living in luxury homes in Israel leased by her mother and other relatives to hide her residency status.
Tzipi Refaeli is serving her sentence at Neve Tirtza Prison in Ramle, a women's prison, which houses some 150 inmates. She contracted COVID-19 in prison in January.
Presenting their opinion to the panel, the State Prosecutor's Office said it would not object to her early release due to this being her first prison sentence as well as her good behavior and participation in mandatory rehabilitation procedures.
In addition, President Reuven Rivlin approved a pardon request from her.