The designers and founders of famed fashion house Dolce and Gabbana were sentenced Wednesday to one year and eight months in prison for hiding hundreds of millions of euros from the tax authorities.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of the Italian fashion brand were not present in court, Reuters reported. Given the complexity and length of the appeals process, the pair is unlikely to spend any time in jail.
An investigation pertaining to the case began in 2008, when authorities cracked down on tax avoidance caused by the onset of the global financial crisis. The Dolce & Gabanna case is one of the few high-profile cases to come to trial so far.
The Italian court ruled on Wednesday that the designers sold their brand to Gado, a Luxembourg-based holding company in 2004, in order to avoid declaring taxes on royalties worth about one billion euros ($1.34 billion).