Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana will face one year and eight months of jail time, following a guilty verdict of tax evasion; this is on top of the $440 million fine from 2012 related to the same charges.
The duo behind the iconic Dolce & Gabbana label were sentenced after a three-hour court session in Italy, helmed by Judge Antonella Brambilla. The prosecution initially requested that each designer serve two and a half years, and that Dolce’s brother and board member Alfonso, board member and general director Cristiana Ruella, and finance director Giuseppe Minoni also serve time.
Dolce & Gabbana’s accountant, Luciano Patelli, may still be sentenced to up to three years as the “main orchestrator of the evasion scheme.”
The pair were originally charged back in 2010, with issues relating to the 2004 sale of Dolce & Gabbana brands to the Luxembourg-based company Gado Srl, which prosecutors say was done for the purpose of evading Italian taxes, according to fashionista.com. Those charges were dropped, then reopened by the Italian Supreme Court last year.
Dolce and Gabbana’s lawyers released a statement via Vogue UK in which they expressed indignation, promised to appeal, and refuted the charges entirely.
“With great satisfaction, we acknowledge that – for the second time – a judge of the Milan Court has reiterated once more the absolute innocence – because the allegations are untrue – of Mr Domenico Dolce and Mr Stefano Gabbana of the accusation of having unfaithfully declared their earnings,” reads the release.
“The charges were simply a paradox: the two designers were charged with not having paid taxes for an amount of money which was double of what they had actually earned.”
The lawyers are appealing to the masses who may be affected by the ruling.
“Due to the fact that the two designers do not have this kind of money – as the judge stated today, that they have never earned it – most probably the Internal Revenue Service will attack [the]most precious part of their patrimony, which is their shareholding in the Dolce & Gabbana Company. We are anxious to even think of what the economic and social repercussion of this act might mean.”
Concerned fashion fanatics the world over are already up in arms, waving their D&G branded purses in the air and wrinkling their D&G suits in agitation. Whether an active member of the patrimony or not, the world may be deprived of four major fashion seasons while the two spend time behind bars.
Maybe they’ll reform the status quo of prisonwear from the inside?
Those among the concerned can follow hashtag #freedolceandgabbana on Twitter.