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Court convicts fashion designers of bribing tax inspectors

May 2, 1997

MILAN, Italy (AP) _ A court convicted Italian fashion designers Krizia and Gianfranco Ferre of bribing tax inspectors and sentenced them Friday to 14 months in jail.

The defendants said they would appeal, a protracted process in Italy that puts the sentence on hold.

``I never had doubts: They paid bribes to tax inspectors to sweeten their tax returns,″ prosecutor Elio Ramondini told reporters.

The Milan court also convicted Santo Versace, the brother and business manager of designer Gianni Versace, and several other executives.

``I don’t accept this guilty verdict and I’ll appeal. I’m convinced they’ll give me justice,″ Versace told the ANSA news agency.

Two other designers, Giorgio Armani and Gerolamo Etro, earlier struck plea bargains to settle their cases with fines and suspended sentences.

All were accused of bribing tax inspectors for favorable audits.

Krizia is the name used by designer Mariuccia Mandelli.

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