Fashion design duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were on Wednesday handed a suspended prison sentence of one year and eight months for hiding hundreds of millions of euros from the tax authorities.
The case dates back to an investigation that began in 2008, when authorities unleashed a tax avoidance crackdown as the financial crisis began to bite. But the probe that ensnared the two designers is one of the few high-profile cases to come to trial so far.
The judge on Wednesday ruled that the pair sold their brand to Luxembourg-based holding company Gado in 2004 to avoid declaring taxes on royalties of about 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).
Given the complexity and length of the appeals process, they are unlikely to spend any time in jail.
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