MILAN — The decision about whether or not Bulgari Group could be facing a trial is now expected on May 19. The Italian jeweler settled its tax case with Italy’s internal revenue service last year, but a judge at the preliminary hearing level in Rome evaluated the state prosecutor’s charges behind closed doors on Wednesday. This led to scheduling an additional hearing.
The charges refer to the 2006 to 2008 period, before LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s acquisition of the storied Italian jeweler. Brothers Paolo and Nicola Bulgari, as well as former Bulgari chief executive officer Francesco Trapani and 11 executives, are named as defendants.
In February 2014, while insisting it remained “certain of being in the right,” Bulgari Group agreed to pay 42 million euros, or $57.2 million, to Italy’s tax agency. Bulgari and the agency settled on a payment of 28 million euros, or $38.1 million, but the addition of taxes, interest and other fines brought the total amount to 42 million euros.
The internal revenue service’s investigations were focused on alleged fraudulent earnings declarations and evasion of tax payments of around 3 billion euros, or $4.08 billion, starting from 2006, through a system of allegedly fictitious companies in the Netherlands and Ireland, set up in order to avoid paying taxes in Italy.