Dolce & Gabbana on trial for 1 Billion Euros of Tax Evasion
Fashion designing duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana along with six alleged co-conspirators will soon face trial in Milan for criminal tax evasion totally 1 billion euros.
The D&G and Dolce & Gabanna brands were sold to a holding company in Luxembourg in 2004, and prosecutors maintain that this ownership transfer took place explicitly to avoid paying taxes in Italy.
Investigations into the pair's alleged tax evasion began in 2007, but they were cleared of all charges. In November, a higher court overturned the not-guilty verdict, opening up the possibility of a new investigation.
The acquittal on charges of tax fraud remains intact, but the current case challenges the previous ruling of tax elusion and goes after Dolce, Gabanna, and six other for tax evasion--using illegal methods to avoid paying taxes.
Celebrity tax evasion cases, like Luciano Pavarotti's 10 million euro of back taxes settled in 2000, are typically settled outside of court to avoid negative press. If the Dolce and Gabanna case proceeds, it will be one of the first of its kind to go to trial.