Turns out that billion-dollar tax evasion lawsuit the Italian government dumped on Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana is back in action. This week, a court overturned the April ruling that let the designers off the hook — and Gabbana took to his Twitter page to air his grievances with the situation.
Women’s Wear Daily reports that the case, which alleges that Dolce, Gabbana and several other company executives didn’t pay the proper amount of taxes when they sold their Italian brands to their own Luxembourg-based holding company, Gado Srl, will probably have to undergo a new trial by a new judge. The suit, initiated by the Italian tax police Guardia di Finanza in 2008, assumes that each designer evaded €416 million in taxes involved with the transaction — that’s over $560 million at current exchange.
The designers were silent throughout the court proceedings last year and early this year, and hadn’t released a statement or comment about the case since May 2009. Gabbana broke that silence on Twitter just a few days ago — and he even got some responses out of his 165,000 followers.
The designer … posted a Tweet that said “Ladri!!! [thieves in Italian],” addressing the State. This was followed after a few minutes by: “They don’t know what to do to get money out of us.” The comments were quickly removed, but Gabbana then tweeted: “It’s really true that in Italy they do what they want…as they please…Perhaps it would be best to leave…” A series of exchanges ensued, and many were scathing. “The door is open, feel free to go,” reacted one Roman follower. “If you leave Italy, first remember to pay ALL backed up taxes! And don’t come back!,” said another.
Some of that hate may be motivated by Italy’s current financial predicament — that country is on the brink of a financial collapse that would be worse than the one that happened here in 2008. Still, we can’t tell yet why the court overturned the ruling — it’s not expected to present its reasonings for bringing the case back until January.