Gucci Heir Gets Suspended Sentence For Attempted Fraud
MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Maurizio Gucci, an heir of the founder of the Gucci luxury goods company, was convicted of attempted tax fraud Monday and given a $750 fine and a one- year suspended sentence.
Vittorio Ajello, the lawyer for Gucci, said the decision means Gucci will regain control of shares that will give him half of the company.
Gucci was accused of having arranged the falsification of the signature on the documents to avoid paying inheritance taxes by making it appear that his father, Rodolfo, transferred ownership of the shares before his death in 1983.
Gucci’s ownership of the shares was not in question, only when the transfer was made. The court froze the shares to assure he could pay any fine levied in the tax fraud case.
He had faced a possible penalty of three years in jail and a fine of about $23 million.
However, the court fined Gucci only $750. It also gave him a one-year suspended sentence and said his criminal record will be expunged at the end of the year. Gucci also must pay the inheritance tax on the shares.
The court also convicted Gucci employees Gian Vittorio Pilone and Ciro De Vincenzo, the notary that authenticated the signatures, of the same charges. The two were given the same suspended sentence and fine. The court also prohibited De Vincenzo from acting as a notary for one year.
The court also acquitted four others, including a woman accused of actually signing the documents.
Gucci is the great grandson of Guccio Gucci, who founded the company in 1922. The company has 180 stores worldwide and its sales last year totaled $170 million.