MILAN — Prosecutors offered Roberto Cavalli a plea bargain carrying a sentence of two years in prison if the designer admits to charges of tax fraud, but Cavalli’s lawyer said his client will reject the offer and prove his innocence.

Cavalli’s attorney, Alessandro Traversi, recounting the events that transpired in a Florence courtroom Thursday, said the defense has no intention of accepting the plea bargain and plans to reject the offer at the trial’s next installment on Dec. 2.

“We don’t accept this proposal and we will proceed with the testimony,” he said in a phone interview.

Prosecutors, the judge handling the case and Cavalli could not be reached for further comment. The designer was not present at Thursday’s court hearing, as he was attending a store opening in Sardinia.

As reported, Italy’s tax authorities claim Cavalli evaded fiscal responsibilities by booking roughly $2.95 million (in local currency, 5 billion lire) in charges to renovate his luxurious Tuscan home as corporate expenses for the fiscal years 1996 through 2000.

Lire figures were converted to euros at a fixed rate, and dollar figures are converted from euros at current exchange.

Cavalli’s attorneys defend the renovations as valid company expenses because the designer’s lifestyle is intricately linked to his image, and consequently the success of his fashion house.

Cavalli’s defense boasts a long list of celebrities who are willing to testify on the designer’s behalf, including Cindy Crawford and Lenny Kravitz. But they can only take the stand after the prosecution presents its case.

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