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La Dolce Vita at risk: Dolce & Gabbana on trial for alleged tax evasion

Published time: December 04, 2012 13:00
Edited time: December 04, 2012 17:00
Designers Stefano Gabbana (L) and Domenico Dolce (AFP Photo / Giuseppe Cacade)

Designers Stefano Gabbana (L) and Domenico Dolce (AFP Photo / Giuseppe Cacade)

Fashion gurus Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are no strangers to spotlight. But this time it’s not about applause on the catwalk, but questioning at the court room, on alleged tax evasion charges.

­The creative duo is accused of avoiding tax payments on over $1.3 billion of income. Calling the accusations "absurd", Dolce and Gabbana have denied any wrongdoing and didn’t attend the hearing in Milan.

According to the prosecutor, in 2004 the fashion heavyweights sold their famous brands, D&G and Dolce & Gabbana, to their own holding company in Luxembourg, in order to avoid paying taxes at home, in Italy.

If found guilty the pair risk a sentence of up to five years in jail.

Their lawyer urged the court to dismiss the charges on the grounds of alleged irregularities in the court proceedings. The court will decide on the request on 14 December. The designers, meanwhile, are keeping silent and haven’t released any statements to the press.

In 2000, Luciano Pavarotti reportedly paid over $12 million in back taxes while according to media reports Diego Maradona allegedly owes up to 40 million euros in unpaid taxes to Italian authorities.