Italian fashion designers, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, were convicted of tax evasion. Dolce and Gabbana failed to file tax declarations for a Luxembourg based company, Gado. Supposedly, the pair owed 55 million dollars worth of taxes from 2004 and 2005 and were accused of using Gado to avoid paying taxes in Italy. Gaetano Santamaria was the prosecutor handling the appeal and argued that Gado was a real operating company. Their accountant, Luciano Patellito, was also charged with a year and six month prison sentence. An Italian appeals court shortened their sentence from 20 months to 18 months, but the fashion duo are still not happy. Both designers are required to pay $670,000 EACH in fines. On top of the charges, Dolce and Gabbana have also been accused of hiding hundreds of millions of euros. The designers are utterly shocked and have denied the charges. In a 3-day protest, shops in Milan were closed. Dolce and Gabbana tell the press that it is impossible; that their fashion house will close if they are forced to pay the high fees. They have been continuing their pleas and plan to meet with Giuliano Pisapia, Milan’s mayor. The designers hope to put the tax evasion behind them and continue to grace the world with their amazing designs.
Dolce and Gabbana are not the only designers to be convicted of tax evasion. Other Italian fashion companies have received scrutiny over the years. Prada has recently been under investigation by Italian prosecutors, Robert Cavalli was cleared of charges and Valentino was fined.