Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have each been sentenced to one year and eight months in prison for evading taxes on their namesake luxury fashion company Dolce & Gabbana. But don’t panic yet for the Italian designers: Reuters has cautioned that the appeals process virtually guarantees they won’t serve hard time.
It’s the most concrete conclusion yet in a case that reaches back nearly 10 years, to when the design partners sold their company to Luxembourg-based Gado (as in Ga-bbana and Do-lce) in 2004 for a third of its value. It turned out Gado was just another company circuitously owned by the men. In a court in Milan on Wednesday, June 19, the prosecution called it a “sophisticated tax fraud” that allowed them to dodge taxes on about one billion euros.
As for the men themselves, they didn’t seem too concerned. They didn’t attend the trial, opting instead for London, where they were more concerned with white collars then white collar crime: they opened a new flagship store on Saturday alongside their friend Kylie Minogue. The closest thing to a comment from Stefano Gabbana in the wake of the verdict were the photos of flowers he uploaded to Instagram—not exactly a mea culpa.
So I’m not sure how Italy is really carrying out justice here. The lesson seems to be to make as many shady business transactions as possible so that when it all catches up with you, you will be able to afford the best lawyers to keep you from going to prison. And apparently Dolce and Gabbana have made enough of it they can afford to not even show remorse.