An Italian court on Wednesday sentenced fashion design duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana to one year and eight months in prison for hiding hundreds of millions of euros from the tax authorities. The success of Dolce & Gabbana‘s sexy corset dresses and sharply-tailored suits favored by celebrities like Kylie Minogue, Kate Moss and Bryan Ferry have earned them a glamorous lifestyle.
Reuters reports that the designers weren’t in the room when judge Antonella Brambilla handed down the decision, and they’re expected to appeal their sentences — which will only add more time to a legal saga the men have been engaged in for years.
The case dates back to an investigation that began in 2008, when authorities unleashed a tax avoidance crackdown as the financial crisis began to bite. But the probe that ensnared the two designers is one of the few high-profile cases to come to trial so far. The judge on Wednesday ruled that the pair sold their brand to Luxembourg-based holding company Gado in 2004 to avoid declaring taxes on royalties of about 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).
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