Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the men behind fashion power house, Dolce & Gabbana were today June 19th sentenced to one year and eight months in prison by an Italian court after being found guilty of tax evasion.
They were also fined €500,000. The multimillionaire designers were accused of hiding millions of euros from Italian tax authorities, charges they deny and have said they intend to appeal against any conviction.
Italian authorities are accusing them of moving their brand to a Luxembourg-based holding company Gado – in 2004, so they could avoid declaring taxes on royalties of about 1 billion euros. The Italian authorities have been investigating the designers for about six years now and they were actually cleared of tax evasion/fraud charges at a previous trial in April 2011 but Italy’s highest court overturned that ruling, ordering that the case be sent back to trial.
Their sentences have been suspended pending their appeal.