Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, of fashion house Dolce and Gabbana, have been today convicted of tax evasion in Milan, according to Reuters.
The world famous fashion designers, Dolce And Gabbana have been convicted of tax evasion and have both been handed 20-month suspended prison sentences after hiding hundreds of millions of Euros from Italian tax authorities.
The duo - veritable lords of haute couture - were not present at the hearing and a spokesperson for their company declined to comment after a court heard that the designers sold their luxury brand to a holding company, Gado, in Luxembourg in efforts that saved them having to declare tax on 1 billion euros, according to Reuters.
Regarding their knowledge of their company's massive tax evasion, prosecutor Laura Pedio argued that the pair were "well aware that they would reap a tax advantage from this transaction."
D&G have maintained their innocence throughout the case: "Everyone knows that we haven't done anything," tweeted Gabbana in June of last year after the trial was ordered. Immediately after the judge's verdict was announced, a "#freedolceandgabbana" hastag began to trend on Twitter.
After D&G's first collection debuted in 1985, the pair rose to fame with their Sicilian-inspired designs until in 2011 the brand's global revenue reached 1.5 billion euros (1.2 billion pounds) but now together they will have to pay fines of 500,000 euros (£428,051) but could end up being fined up to 10 million euros (£8,500,000).
The pair remain defiant and will appeal their 20 month jail term, despite prosecutors asking for two and a half years.