As the fashion industry preps for Dolce & Gabbana to reveal its latest collections during Milan Fashion Week, designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana will be gearing themselves up for another type of show. The design duo is set to appear in court for an alleged tax evasion.
The designers first came under scrutiny in 2010 when they were accused of creating a holdings company in Luxembourg to avoid declaring over 840 million euros ($1.1 billion USD) in sales to the Italian government. After investigations and hearings, the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. But, last November Italy’s supreme court overturned the ruling against the designers. The court ruled that tax avoidance (or tax mitigation) on an earnings declaration is a criminal offense.
According to Forbes, a Milan judge will hear from Italian tax officials who claim the two evaded over $500 million in taxes on over $1 billion in royalties when they sold their brands to their own Luxembourg-based holding company in 2004. If found guilty, the designers could face five years in jail and a hefty fine.
Let’s hope Italy’s most successful designers won’t be adding prison jumpsuits to their portfolios. -Vicki Valery
Photo Credits: Getty