Fashion duo Dolce and Gabbana are expected to rock the orange jumpsuit look this season while they spend 20 months in jail for tax evasion.
In April, the pair was fined €343 million for tax evasion after they funnelled their company’s profits through a holding company in Luxembourg to avoid paying Italy’s corporate tax rate. The pair decided to appeal the ruling but have now had the appeal automatically rejected by the same judge who has sentenced them to 20 months each in jail.
The fashion duo was first charged with tax fraud in 2011, however the case fell through after a judge decided that there was not enough evidence to convict them. Prosecutors then brought charges of tax evasion against the designers in the Italian Supreme Court.
After the verdict was announced, Mr. Gabbana fired back at the Italian tax authorities calling them thieves before threatening to leave the country. Mr. Dolce has so far remained silent, and the brand’s PR reps have yet to release an official comment.
In the past, there have been several other celebrity tax evasion cases, but unlike Dolce and Gabbana, those celebrities chose to pay their fines and settle their tax affairs outside of court. As recently as 2008, Moto GP champion Valentino Rossi willingly handed over €39 million to the Italian tax authorities, while in 2000, opera singer Luciano Pavarotti paid 24 million Lira (€9.4 million) in back taxes.
According to official figures, tax evasion costs Italy approximately €200 billion every year.