The regional tax office in Lazio, Italy has hit Valentino and his business partner, Giancarlo Giammetti with a $39 million fine for allegedly evading tax payments. In addition to the massive fine, there could be a possible criminal investigation and even a prison sentence.
The managing director of Valentino’s and Giammetti’s office in London Ronald Feijen stated that both Valentino and Giammetti are highly surprised by the position taken by the Italian authority and that they will be taking the appropriate action accordingly. The tax office is claiming that the duo avoided declaring income taxes in Italy by moving their residence outside the country even though they were keeping their operations in Italy. Feijen insists that this is not the case and that much of the operations have been moved to London.
â€¨â€¨The couturier and his partner are not the first big-name Italians to be faced with such charges. A whole slew are mentioned, including Roberto Cavalli who was recently cleared of similar charges stemming from a 2002 investigation and, in 2008, Italian authorities opened a criminal tax evasion investigation into the Dolce & Gabbana fashion group.
Gianfranco Ferré, Santo Versace, Mariuccia Mandelli of Krizia and their business associates were indicted in July 1995 on charges of corruption and bribing tax police in return for audit leniency, though a court later found that they were victims of extortion. Giorgio Armani, Gerolamo Etro and Aldo Pinto of Krizia faced similar charges and they too claimed that they were victim of extortion, but opted for plea bargains.
Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.