Dolce & Gabbana Found Not Guilty of Tax Evasion

Orange will not be the new black for the design duo.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
241
Orange will not be the new black for the design duo.
Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce at their spring 2015 runway show. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce at their spring 2015 runway show. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Italy's highest court ruled Friday that Dolce & Gabbana is not guilty of tax evasion, ending a decade-long dispute with the Italian government.

An appeals court found Dolce & Gabbana guilty back in April, sentencing the party to 18 months in the big house and fining them over $550 million. Following the verdict, the designers' defense team vowed to go to the top court with a final appeal. And the defense team's argument -- that Dolce & Gabbana were too caught up in the creative aspects of their business to know that they were breaking the law -- worked.

According to WWD, a five-member jury deliberated for three hours and decided that "there was no ground for a case" and overturned the two previously issued sentences. The verdict also exonerates fellow defendants Cristiana Ruella, D&G's general director; Finance Director Giuseppe Minoni and accountant Luciano Patelli.

Following the not guilty verdict, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana issued an official statement: "We have always been honest and we are extremely proud of this recognition by the Italian Court of Justice. Viva l'Italia."

The verdict on Prada's tax evasion investigation is still out, however. 

*This story has been updated with an official statement from Dolce & Gabbana.