Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have each been sentenced to one year and eight months in prison after being found guilty of tax evasion. A jury met for three hours this afternoon to discuss the legal ruling which is one of three legal procedures that will determine a final verdict.
The Italian fashion duo are found to have evaded €416 million of tax. Authorities allege that their sale of the Dolce & Gabanna and D&G brands in 2004 to a Luxembourg-based holding company, Gado Srl, was to evade higher corporate taxes in their home country of Italy.
The charges against the pair were originally brought in 2007. However, in 2011 these charges were dismissed by a lower court which ruled there was no foundation for a trial. This decison was then turned over by the Supreme Court in November 2011, stating that “tax avoidance on an earning declaration is a criminal offense under law.” Previously, tax avoidance was not considered a crime under Italian law. Dolce & Gabanna are being sent to jail for a crime that wasn’t even illegal at the time they committed it. Okay, that’s probably not strictly true. Dolce and Gabbana were not at court today, have not yet given a public comment on the sentence and are likely to appeal the verdict. They are unlikely to go to jail any time soon!
The designers’ lawyer, Massimo Dinoia, called for the pair to be acquitted of the charges – while prosecutor Gaetano Ruta demanded that Dolce, Gabbana and company board member Cristiana Ruella should be sent to prison for two-and-a-half years. Stay tuned to Wigsandgowns for more updates on the dynamic duo and their legal woes!