(NEW YORK) The courtroom-set saga continues to unfold: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were slapped with the verdict for their tax evasion case, and the sentence isn’t pretty. The Sicilian design duo has been sentenced to one year and eight months in prison; a three-hour juror’s meeting this afternoon sealed the ominous deal. It’s not all bleak news, though: Judge Antonella Brambilla cleared Dolce and Gabbana of the second count, which was in regards to the valuation of the company and the tax rate paid. The sentence is 10 months shy of the two and a half years of jailtime that prosecutor Gaetano Ruta initially ordered that the designers endure.
It all started in May 2009, when Italian authorities became suspicious of the luxe brand’s 2004 sale of both its namesake brand and the now defunct D&G diffusion label to Gado Srl, a holding company based in Luxembourg, which was alleged to be an attempt to avoid taxation. The designers are vehemently denying all of the claims and are expected to appeal today’s ruling. Back in April, Italy’s Tax Commission fined Dolce and Gabbana 343.4 million Euros (approximately $440 million). In April 2011, a lower court cleared the duo of any wrongdoing; seven months later, a higher court overturned the decision and reopened the case.