Dolce and Gabbana guilty of €1bn tax evasion

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been found guilty of massive tax evasion in Italy.

The pair were convicted in a Milan court of failing to declare €1bn in income tax to authorities. The court sentenced them both to 20 months in jail.

Defence lawyer Massimo Dinoia pledged to appeal against the conviction, meaning that, under Italian law, the sentence would be suspended.

Prosecutors said that the pair had evaded taxes on income of €416m each and €200m through a Luxembourg-based company.

The statute of limitations ran out on a charge of misrepresenting income.

The designers denied the charges.

Two years ago a judge threw out a tax evasion and fraud case against the pair, whose label Dolce&Gabbana is a Milan fashion mainstay.

Italy’s high court later ruled the designers could be prosecuted for tax evasion, though not for fraud.

Defence lawyer Dinoia said that the fact the court issued an acquittal on a charge that had expired, instead of just letting it fall to the statute of limitations, "means the proof of their innocence is evident".

Three other defendants, including two managers, were also convicted in the scheme and given suspended sentences of one year and four months.

A sixth defendant was acquitted.

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