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Designers Dolce and Gabbana convicted of tax evasion

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Jan. 12, 2013: In this file photo, Italian fashion designers Stefano Gabbana, left, and Domenico Dolce bow to the audience after presenting their Dolce & Gabbana men's Fall-Winter 2013-14 collection in Milan, Italy. A Milan court convicted fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of tax evasion. (AP)

A Milan court on Wednesday convicted the designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of tax evasion.

They were found guilty of failing to declare 200 million euros ($268 million) through a Luxembourg company to authorities and given a one year and eight months suspended jail sentence. They were ordered to pay a penalty of 500,000 euros (about $670,000) to tax authorities.

The court, however, acquitted them of misrepresenting income of 416 million euros (around $560 million) each, even though the statute of limitations had expired on the charge.

The designers have denied the charges. Defense lawyer Massimo Dinoia pledged to appeal the ruling, saying the fact the court issued an acquittal on a charge that had expired, instead of just letting it fall to the statute of limitations, "means the proof of their innocence is evident."

Two years ago, a judge threw out a tax evasion and fraud case against the pair, whose label Dolce&Gabbana is a Milan fashion mainstay. Italy's high court later ruled the designers could be prosecuted for tax evasion, though not for fraud.

Three other defendants, including two managers, were also convicted in the scheme and given suspended sentences of one year and four months. A sixth defendant was acquitted.

 

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