MILAN, Italy — Gaetano Ruta, the prosecutor representing the Italian government in tax evasion proceedings concerning Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, has called for prison sentences of two-and-a-half years each to be awarded to the duo at the designers’ sentencing hearing.
Ruta did not ask Antonella Brambilla, the judge presiding over the hearing, for the harshest sentence available to the court, which stands at 5 years.
The designers are not alone in facing incarceration. Ruta asked that the company’s accountant Luciano Patelli be sentenced to three years, whilst requesting that finance director Giuseppe Minoni and Domenico’s brother, Alfonso Dolce, be awarded sentences of two years each.
The case concerns the 2004 sale of the Dolce and Gabbana and D&G brands to the designers’ holding company, Gado Srl, based in Luxembourg.
An Italian court ruled in favour of the nation’s tax authority in March of this year, finding those involved guilty of “abuse, with the only goal of obtaining a fiscal advantage,” awarding a fine of 343.3 million euros.
In the context of Italy’s poor economic climate, government initiatives to clamp down on tax evasion are popular. The country is thought to forfeit an estimated $150 billion a year in unpaid taxes and the Dolce and Gabbana case has attracted significant public interest.