New York: Fashion moguls Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, better known by their moniker Dolce and Gabbana, are reportedly facing prison for evading taxes to the tune of millions.
The designers whose clientele includes the likes of Madonna and Scarlett Johansson, could face a criminal trial after they were investigated for a major tax evasion in their native Italy, reported the New York Times online.
The duo are accused of defrauding the Italian revenue agency and failing to pay taxes on more than USD 1 billion of income.
In a court hearing in Milan they will be told by a judge whether prosecutors have gathered enough evidence to warrant a criminal trial.
The designers vehemently denied the claims when the investigation first leaked in May 2009 and have since hired a number of extremely high-profile lawyers.
The case is gaining an increased amount of publicity because the duo are specifically accused of fraud.
Court papers filed by prosecutors allege a ‘criminal design’ to defraud the state. They also allege that the Italian revenue service was ‘duped’ out of taxes on sale of certain brands, which they claim were sold well below market value.
Dolce And Gabbana was set up by the two designers in 1985 and by 2005 their turnover was USD 750 million.