ELIO FIORUCCI JAIL SENTENCE IS SUSPENDED
MILAN — Elio Fiorucci, founder of the offbeat sportswear company that bears his name, has pleaded guilty to charges of bankruptcy fraud and falsifying company reports and has been sentenced to a suspended prison term of 22 months.
Fiorucci, who is now the company’s creative director, entered his plea bargain in a Milan court during an arraignment hearing in connection with the 1989 court-administered bankruptcy of Fiorucci SpA.
Fiorucci and five other defendants, including Luciano Benetton, who once owned a minority stake in Fiorucci, are alleged to have fiddled with company books before Fiorucci filed for bankruptcy. They are also alleged to have made Fiorucci look more profitable on paper than it actually was in order to convince judges to give it a second chance.
“This trial has destroyed my life,” Fiorucci told WWD. “I plea bargained at my lawyer’s request and because I didn’t want the trial to drag on for 10 years. I had nothing to do with the company when all of this took place. I was not responsible for anything.”
Under Italian law, defendants who enter a plea bargain usually do not serve prison sentences and the crime disappears from their records after five years.
In 1990, a year after Fiorucci closed, the Tokyo-based Edwin International acquired the Fiorucci name. That same year, Edwin granted the master license for Fiorucci products to Sagitario, a privately held firm.
The trial, which began four years ago, ended late last week.
Luciano Benetton, chief of the Benetton Group, had owned a minority stake in Fiorucci and served on the company’s board between 1985 and 1987. An arraignment hearing for Benetton and the other defendants has been scheduled for Feb. 15.