Italy’s financial police have confiscated a 15th Century castle, land and corporate holdings of 13 people "linked to one of Italy's most important families in the fashion and textile sector".
Assets worth over $83million have been seized in a tax probe over the 2007 sale of the Hugo Boss and Valentino fashion houses.
A person familiar with the investigation told Reuters the people involved were allegedly linked to the Marzotto group and included members of the Marzotto family. Marzotto sold the Valentino Fashion Group – then including the Valentino and Hugo Boss labels – to a private finance group, the Telegraph reported.
The seized castle Villa Trissino Marzotto boasts over 50 rooms, and has been in the Marzotto family for six decades. According to the Financial Times, it has two Italian-style geometrical gardens, a forest, a road lined with lemon trees and over a hundred statues.
The Marzotto family members allegedly avoided Italian tax by using a Luxembourg-based holding company for the Valentino sale.
The newspaper reported that the assets were taken to cover $83million in taxes the 13 people are suspecting of having allegedly failed to pay when making a $255million capital gain from selling Valentino.
Those under investigation are suspected of not having filed tax returns.
Lawyers representing the Marzotto family insist bank documents show capital gains from the operation had been declared and taxed, the Telegraph informed.
"I acknowledge the seizure measures. I think it right only to point out that I did not have any operative position in the company in which I was a minority partner," Matteo Marzotto, a board member of the textile family group, said in a statement.