Dolce & Gabbana aren't going to have a very relaxing holiday season. The duo had been accused last year of tax evasion for failing to declare more than $1.1 billion in sales, but in April, all charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence. Well, they better get their lawyers back on board, because that decision was overturned by a higher court in Italy and the case has been re-opened, WWD is reporting.
The reasons the case was re-opened won't be revealed until January after the holidays, but a legal source told WWD, "I assume the Supreme Court believes the judge's decision to clear the designers was tainted by a legal flaw, a defective motivation or an error in the application of the law."
Or perhaps it's because the Italian government is a bunch of "thieves." At least that was Stefano Gabbana's opinion. The designer took to his Twitter account (always ill-advised when you're facing legal action) to voice his anger at the Italian government: "Thieves!!! They don't know what to do to get money out of us." It turned into a political debate (Italians pay about 50% in taxes and many tweeters were annoyed at the designers for not allegedly paying their share.) It all culminated with Gabbana threatening to leave Italy. Some of the tweets were subsequently erased, but it appears the the design duo will continue to proclaim their innocence.
They're accused of owing about $562 million in back taxes related to the sale of Dolce & Gabbana and D&G to holding company, Gado Srl. The Italian tax police believe it's a legal entity used to avoid corporate tax rates. If the new judge decides to proceed, Dolce & Gabbana have several courses of action--they could pay a fine to avoid a long court trial and a criminal record, undergo a full trial, or opt for a quickie trial using fewer documents and witnesses that would result in a discounted penalty.