Date set for Dolce & Gabbana's tax evasion trial

Design duo will appear in an Italian court on December 3

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are to stand trial for tax evasion totalling €416 million.

The design duo will appear in an Italian court on December 3 accused of evading €416 million of tax in relation to the sale of the Dolce & Gabbana and D&G brands to the designers' Luxembourg-based holding company Gado Srl. The Italian police consider Gado Srl to be a legal body set up to enable the pair to avoid the country's high corporate taxes.

The Guardia di Finanza, an Italian police force under the authority of the national minister of economy and finance, first brought the charges against the pair and five of their business associates in 2007, however, in April 2011 they were dismissed by a lower court, which deemed there was no foundation for a trial. The Italian Supreme Court overturned that decision last November, saying that "tax avoidance, or tax mitigation, on an earnings declaration is a criminal offence under the law," reports WWD . Previously, tax avoidance was not considered a criminal offence.



Although neither Dolce & Gabbana have commented on the trial date, both have previously denied any wrongdoing and have claimed they have a clear conscience.



If convicted, the designers and their co-accused business associates could face up to three years in prison, or a fine of up to €1 million.

By Bibby Sowray, Telegraph.co.uk

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