Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana lawyer Massimo Di Noia answers reporters' questions after the sentence at the Milan's court, Italy, Wednesday, June 19, 2013. A Milan court convicted fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of tax evasion. The pair were found guilty Wednesday of failing to declare euros 1 billion ($1.3 billion) in income to authorities. The court sentenced them both to one year and eight months in jail. Prosecutors argued that the pair had evaded taxes on income of 416 million euros each and 200 million euros through a Luxembourg-based company. The statute of limitations ran out on a charge of misrepresenting income. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
MILAN — A Milan court today convicted the designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of tax evasion.
They were found guilty of failing to declare 200 million euros ($268 million) through a Luxembourg company to authorities and given a one year and eight months suspended jail sentence. They were ordered to pay a penalty of 500,000 euros (about $670,000) to tax authorities.
The court, however, acquitted them of misrepresenting income of 416 million euros (around $560 million) each, even though the statute of limitations had expired on the charge.
The designers have denied the charges. Defense lawyer Massimo Dinoia pledged to appeal the ruling, saying 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.”
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.
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.