Tax dodgers Dolce and Gabbana sentenced for €400m evasion
Fashion duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been sentenced to 20 months in prison by a Milan court for tax evasion.
The designers to the stars were found guilty of failing to declare €1bn of income to Italy's tax authorities.
Prosecutors said the pair sold their D&G and Dolce & Gabbana brands to their own holding company, Gabo, in Luxembourg in 2004 for €360m – one-third of its market value – to slash their tax liability. This, plus other dodges, mean the pair owed more than €400m to the Italian taxman, the court decided.
"Everyone knows we haven't done anything," Gabbana tweeted in June last year. He threatened to leave Italy if prosecuted. During the trial, prosecutor Laura Pedio said there was "granite-like evidence" of "sophisticated tax fraud".
The fashion heavyweights will remain free at least until two appeal processes have been exhausted.
Some newspapers, which rely on advertising from top designers, have not given the trial much attention.
Dolce and Gabbana were acquitted of tax fraud charges in April 2011. But following an appeal, prosecutors were allowed to press tax evasion charges. (© Independent News Service)