It didn’t come as much of a surprise that Miuccia Prada, the genius behind our favourite Italian fashion label Prada, is being investigated over allegations of tax evasion. Prada is the latest high profile company in a lineup including Bulgari, the Mariella Burani Fashion Group and Dolce & Gabbana, to be accused by Italian authorities of transferring business to holding companies abroad to avoid paying Italian taxes.
According to newspaper Corriere della Sera, Prada Holding, the controlling shareholder of the Prada fashion group, was transferred to tax havens Luxembourg and the Netherlands to avail of more favourable tax advantages. The company was, however, moved back to Italy last month. Chairman Miuccia Prada, Chief Executive Officer Patrizio Bertelli and accountant Marco Salomoni have all been named in the prosecutors investigation.
The investigation echoes that into fellow Milanese fashion house Dolce & Gabbana. The duo were sentenced to jail earlier this year for allegedly evading €416 million of tax. Authorities alleged that their sale of the Dolce & Gabbana 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. Previously, tax avoidance was not considered a crime under Italian law but tougher laws have been introduced in a post Berlusconi Italy.
Bloomberg report that lawyers for Prada say that the company aren’t aware of a probe by Italian authorities and that documents regarding the allegations have been submitted to prosecutors. “As it stands we are not aware of there being an investigation,” Stefano Simontacchi and Guido Alleva said in an e-mailed statement.
More to come on this one folks!