Dolce & Gabbana, Tax Evasion, and Bruno Mars

This afternoon, as if trying to deflect attention from the much more sensational headline from this morning, Dolce & Gabbana announced that they’re designing the outfits for Bruno Mars’ upcoming Moonshine Jungle world tour.

Good news indeed. Now about that other headline. A high court in Milan has finally, after six years, ruled on the duo’s tax-evasion case — and it’s not looking good at all. They pair has been found guilty, and each of them has been sentenced to a year and eight months behind bars.

At a hearing today, a judge ruled that when the designers sold their label to the Luxembourg-based holding company Gado — their two names abbreviated — in 2004, they did so improperly, selling the business far below market value with the intention of concealing hundred of millions of dollars worth of taxes. The ruling is a reversal of a lower court’s acquittal in 2011.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana deny all wrongdoing and, naturally, they’ve appealed today’s judgment. It’s unlikely they’ll actually face any prison time. That, however, is based on the assumption things in Italy go the way they always have. And if today has proven anything, it’s that that’s no longer the case.

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