Ah, Italy! It's a wonderful place where you just pay all your taxes in mozzarelle or whatever, right? Wrong! You have to pay cash money just like everywhere else, but Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce (of, well, you know what brand) may have done just the opposite when they sold D&G and Dolce & Gabbana to a holding company by the name of Gado.
Never heard of Gado? That's because it was established by Dolce and Gabbana themselves in Luxembourg in 2004, coincidentally a country with a very low tax rate compared to Italy — or just about anywhere else in Europe. Though it may sound dubious, that sort of fancy footwork can be perfectly legal. But the pair is accused of dodging paying €400 million (about $521 million) after selling – or perhaps transferring is the better word — the labels for an estimated third of their real market value. Dolce, Gabbana, and six members of their team will go on trial in Milan on Monday, and could wind up in jail for five years if convicted.
But, this is no Lindsay Lohan slap-on-the-wrist situation. As you may know, times are tight over in Europe (just like here), and that is a lot of money. Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was fairly lax about this kind of thing, which might explain why this didn't become an issue sooner. But new PM Mario Monti isn't having any of it; in fact, if this high-flying duo is succesfully convicted, they'll be a painful example to their fellow countrymen that the powers that be means business. (Telegraph UK via Jezebel)