Jun 20, 2013 10:39AM

Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana Sentenced to Jail for Tax Evasion

For avoiding $268 million in taxes.
Dolce & Gabbana FW13. Photo via Style.com

Dolce & Gabbana's most recent FW13 collection dripped in gold and intricate embellishment, inspired by the ornate mosaics of Sicily's Cathedral of Monreale. On the runway, models wore chandelier earrings and crowns like kings. The collection was a good indication of the iconic Italian house's aesthetic — over-the-top, kitsch, Baroque. 

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have taken decadence too far with today's news that they've been sentenced to one year and eight months in prison for tax evasion. They were were initially accused of avoiding taxes of around one billion euros, but the court found that only 200 million euros ($268 million) of that sum was relevant. 

The duo has been accused of creating a company called Gado (an acronym of their surnames) in Luxembourg for the purposes of dodging taxes from 2004 — 2005.  

This isn't the first time the two have been scrutinised. In 2010 a case was opened but dismissed in early 2011. It reopened last November and went to trial. 

"All that I care about is making clothes, that's all. Let them do and say whatever they want," Stefano Gabbana tweeted about the trial in April, adding, "To be accused of something that's not true is not a pretty thing, but the heart of the matter is, who cares, we’ll all end up in the ground in the end."

The design duo has additionally been ordered to pay a fine of 500,000 euros ($712,111). Represented by the same lawyers of Beyonce and Madonna, they are set to appeal the ruling so under Italian law their sentence has been suspended in the meantime. Hopes for appeal may be grim, though, with prosecutor Laura Pedio saying that there is "rock solid proof" that the pair have committed "sophisticated tax fraud."

Via AFP