Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana fined $440M for tax evasion

Fashion Dolce and Gabanna
Stefano Gabbana, left, and Domenico Dolce pose for picture during an interview at their showroom in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

At least they're billionaires - for now.

Italy's Tax Commission slapped designers Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce with an astounding €343.40 million fine (the equivalent of $439 million at current exchange) for tax evasion.

According to WWD, Dolce and Gabbana are accused of failing to report complete earnings in the 2004 sale of both Dolce & Gabbana and D&G to a shell company called Gado (which is comprised of the first two letters of the designers' last names). The Tax Commission finds that the two moved their earnings to Luxembourg in order to avoid paying €420 million (close to $550 million) in taxes to their home country.

The sentence is in continuation of a legal case that opened in May 2009. The case was dismissed in April 2011 after the court found that there was a substantial lack of evidence in the designers' alleged misdemeanors - a decision that was overturned later that year by a higher court in Italy.

For now, the designers deny the charges, with Gabbana tweeting Saturday, "All that I care about is making clothes, that's all. Let them do and say whatever they want." WWD reports, however, that the two could avoid the fine if they decide to appeal.

For everyone else: This is just a friendly reminder to be honest with the IRS when filing your taxes this season.

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