Milanese prosecutor Gaetano Ruta has called for the imprisonment of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana over tax evasion claims that date back to 2004. In her closing speech at a Milan courthouse, Ruta today recommended that Dolce, Gabbana and company board member Cristiana Ruella should be sentenced to two and a half years in prison and that the designers’ accountant, Luciano Patelli, should be given a longer, three-year incarceration.
The Italian fashion duo are accused of evading €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.
The case continues!