Prada denies accounts of tax evasion investigation

Monday, 13 January 2014
Italian designer Miuccia Prada and her husband, current CEO at Prada and company shareholder Patrizio Bertelli, are reportedly under investigation for tax evasion by Milan prosecutors.

Last December, Prada Holding made a voluntary tax disclosure of assets held abroad in low-tax Netherlands, where the holding company was formerly based, and Luxembourg. On Friday, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that Prada and her husband Bertelli had paid Italian tax authorities 420 million euros in a settlement. However, the newspaper also stated that the pair remain under investigation despite the settlement.

On Friday, a spokesman for the lawyers who represent Prada Holding, the company through which Prada and her family and partner run the luxury group, stated that he was unaware of any ongoing investigations. “At the moment, we far as we know, nobody is under investigation,” said Stefano Simontacchi, who together with Guido Alleva also advise Prada Holding during its voluntary tax disclosure. According to an inside source, the money paid to the Italian tax authorities was a regular transaction and in no way a fine, reported Reuters.

Italy's tax government released commentary from a senior official last Friday that indicted the investigation into Prada Holding tax issues had ended, as all money due, which included interest and fines, had been paid. Nevertheless, according to the Italian legal system, the payment of tax fines and penalties does not inhibit civil officers from beginning their own investigation.

Prada Holding is one of the latest fashion companies to be under investigation for tax evasion, following after Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, design duo behind D&G, who have been found guilty of tax evasion and sentenced to suspended prison sentences alongside fines of 343.3 million euros. The Italian government is currently working on passing a law which will encourage voluntary tax disclosures, which would to financial fines rather than penal consequence to anyone under investigation.

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