Judges Believe Dolce & Gabbana Knew They Were Breaking the Law

More details have emerged in the saga that is Dolce & Gabbana's tax evasion case.
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Dhani Mau
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More details have emerged in the saga that is Dolce & Gabbana's tax evasion case.
The designers looking cheery at their men's show last week. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty 

The designers looking cheery at their men's show last week. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty 

Another update in the never-ending (seriously, it's been 10 years) Dolce & Gabbana tax evasion case.

When Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were brought to trial for tax evasion -- namely over a holdings company set up in Luxembourg, presumably to avoid paying higher Italian taxes -- a big part of their defense was that they were not personally involved in such dealings.

In an effort to have them acquitted, their lawyer said that the designers are “totally taken by their models, their fabrics and events, they are creative minds. I just don’t see them dealing with bills and schemes to cut their tax rate.”

And now, after they've already been found guilty by an Italian appeals court, the judges in the case are addressing their ruling, and are calling b.s. on the designers' claims of ignorance. 

“It is not at all believable that the designers, once made aware of the project [to avoid Italian taxes], could feel they were operating legally,” said Judge Laura Cariati, via WWD. The judges also believe that the holdings company, Gado's, main dealings were actually in Italy, not Luxembourg, as the company had claimed.

The designers have been sentenced to a year and six months in jail, though they won't serve it because Italy typically waives jail time for sentences under two years. However, they will have to pay fines that could exceed $550 million.

According to the trade, the defendants' lawyers still plan to appeal to the highest court, the Cassazione. 

Perhaps this is why the designers have been putting out such imaginative, fairytale-like collections and campaigns lately -- to escape from their real-life dramas.