Gay fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana given 18-month suspended jail term

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The Italian Designers, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have each been sentenced to 18 months in prison for tax evasion.

The suspended sentence comes after both were convicted of hiding an estimated 200 million Euros from the Italian tax authorities in June of last year.

Italy’s Appeals Court upheld a verdict issued last year against the pair, on charges of using Gado, a Luxembourg holding company, to dodge paying taxes on royalties of approximately 1 billion euros.

Reuters reports that both designers continue to vehemently deny any wrongdoing, with one of their lawyers, Massimo Dinoia saying: “I am speechless. We are all shocked. The judge is inexplicable and we will appeal”.

The case stems from an investigation that began in 2008 when Italian tax authorities tightened their laws on tax evasion following the global financial crisis.

Fellow celebrity designer, Giorgio Armani was forced to pay 270 million Euros to tax authorities in early April, with Prada paying a reported 410 million sum to settle similar issues in December.

Dole & Gabbana faced a reduced sentence of 18 months, down from 20 due to alleged discrepancies in some of the facts given in the case.