The high fashion icons of the Dolce and Gabbana empire will have to trade in their luxurious suits for prison uniforms. An Italian court has ruled that Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are to be sent to prison for tax evasion. The designers, who have dressed a myriad of A-list celebrities on the red carpet with their couture and corsets, were not present in court and have denied charges.
Here are the facts you need to know:
1. They Are Sentenced for Hiding Millions from Tax Authorities
The dynamic duo allegedly hid millions of euros from tax authorities when they sold their brand in 2008. Prosecutors argued that the pair had evaded taxes on income of 416 million euros each and 200 million euros through their Luxembourg based company. The Italian designers’ high profile successes on the runway has earned them an extravagant lifestyle.
2. Case Dates Back to 2008 When They Sold Their Company…to Themselves
This case dates back to 2008 when the fashion pair sold their brand to Luxembourg-based holding company Gado and “allegedly avoided declaring tax royalties” of about 1 billion Euros. Never heard of Gado? That’s because it was established by Dolce and Gabbana themselves in Luxembourg in 2004 Coincidentally Luxumbourg is a country with a very low tax rate compared to Italy — or just about anywhere else in Europe.
3. D&G Were Sentenced to Almost 2 Years in Jail
According to Italy’s high court, Dolce and Gabbana will be serving a sentenced of 1 year and 8 months.
4. Italy Has Been Cracking Down on Tax Evasion
In 2008, Italy began to feel the looming effects of the financial crisis. Since then, authorities unleashed a crackdown on tax evasion. Dolce and Gabbanna’s case is one of the few high-profile cases to come to trial so far. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than a quarter of the Italian economy eludes taxation. Italian Audit Court President, Luigi Giampaolino has stated to lawmakers that “Tax evasion is a plague” in Italy.
5.They Are Unlikely to Spend Any Time in Jail
According to Reuters, given the complexity and length of the appeals process, the duo is unlikely to spend any time in jail.