The fashion pioneers behind the luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, have officially been sentenced to 18 months in prison by Italian courts. The pair were initially sentenced to 20 months by lower courts, but the ruling was later adjusted to 18 months.

 

The designers are under scrutiny for evading tax payments. Prosecutors claim that the duo evaded paying taxes on an “income of around €1bn (£850m),” according to TheGuardian.com.

 

Apparently, the fashion moguls succeeded in avoiding tax payments by selling their luxury brands to a holding company in Luxembourg. Forbes.com reports that “Dolce & Gabbana sold their business to a Luxembourg-based company called Gado Srl” (a clever combination of their two names). They go on to clarify that “Italian tax authorities suspected that the duo undervalued the company for purposed of the sale in order to avoid paying tax on the transaction.”

 

The Milan-based luxury brand has been on the authorities’ radar for years. The Italian tax authorities began investigating the duo for 28 years ago, examining their finances at length.

 

Despite the court’s decision, it is highly unlikely that the designers will actually spend any time in prison. NYMag.com reports that “In Italy, most criminals don’t have to serve prison terms of under two years; the ruling appears to function more like a suspended sentence, meaning they’ll only go to jail if they run afoul of the law again.” The pair are also expected to appeal again, lengthening their trial time. which ensure that the courts will likely drop the case.

 

Regardless of their time behind bars, the designing duo have paid €500,000 in fines for the ruling. The two, who both were ranked as #1,025 on the Forbes Billionaires list this year, are likely not as much affected by the monetary penalty as they are the smudge on their reputation.

 

 

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