MILAN — Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana had to know, according to the appellate court judges who in April handed down a guilty verdict in their tax trial.
On Wednesday, the judges explained that decision and concluded, “It is not at all believable that the designers, once made aware of the project [to avoid Italian taxes], could feel they were operating legally.” The judges underscored that, in delegating to others, there is also an obligation of company principals to provide direction to those same subordinates. The appeals court, headed by Judge Laura Cariati, dismissed the possibility of ignorance in the matter, which the designers claimed in their defense. Instead, Cariati saw “an intentional” plan to avoid a higher tax rate in Italy, compared with rates in Luxembourg.
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