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Tax-Dodging Dolce & Gabbana Sentenced to Prison

Prison stripes and bright orange jumpsuits may be the new fall look for the Italian fashion duo

Yesterday, Italian design duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were found guilty of tax evasion, heavily fined, and sentenced to one year and eight months in prison for hiding hundreds of millions of euros from the Italian tax authorities.

The sentencing is the culmination of an ongoing investigation that started in 2007 and focused on the designers' financial affairs between 2004 and 2006. In 2004, Dolce & Gabbana sold their business to Gado, a Luxemborg-based holding company, undervaluing the company at sale in order to skirt paying taxes on royalties of nearly 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).

The New York Times reports that Dolce & Gabbana's lawyers said in a statement they were "frankly stunned" by the verdict and were "certain that it will be overturned on appeal." The two designers were not present in court, but just seconds after the verdict was announced, Gabbana tweeted an Instagram photo of the branch of a citrus tree, a symbol of Sicily that has become the duo's signature, and continued to tweet denials to fans.

Dolce and Gabbana aren't the only high-profile, wealthy Italians to face scrutiny over their financial transactions as of late; designer Roberto Cavalli was eventually cleared of charges, Valentino was heavily fined, and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced.

What do you think? Will Dolce and Gabbana ultimately face jail time? Will the ruling negatively affect the brand as a whole?


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