Dolce & Gabbana founders (and former lovers), Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were found guilty of tax evasion today, stemming from their indictment in 2010 for failing to pay about $540 million in taxes related to the sale of the brand in 2004. According to BBC, after today’s jury deliberation, Milan-based Judge Antonella Brambilla announced that the designers moved their brand to a Luxembourg-based holding company Gado in 2004 to avoid declaring taxes on royalties of around 1 billion euros ($1.3B).
The judge has sentenced the two designers to one year and eight months of jail time each – the prosecution has been heavily pushing for jail time for nearly all of the parties involved. The designers are expected to appeal the decision, and are reportedly unlikely to go to jail any time soon.
Also found guilty today: D&G board member and general director Cristiana Ruella, Alfonso Dolce (Domenico Dolce’s brother), who worked with the company, the duo’s finance director Giuseppe Minoni and their accountant Luciano Patelli, who has been characterized as the “main orchestrator” of the evasion scheme.