NEW YORK — Gucci America Inc. paid $20.5 million in back taxes to the U.S. government Thursday after pleading guilty to income tax evasion conspiracy from 1972 through 1982.
In a plea bargain with federal prosecutors, the New York-based retailer of expensive leather goods and other luxury items also pleaded guilty to filing false corporate tax returns for 1978 and 1979.
U.S. District Judge Shirley Wohl Kram immediately fined Gucci America, formerly known as Gucci Shops Inc., $30,000 for the three felony tax counts.
The guilty pleas stemmed from a federal investigation that led to the conviction of former Gucci Chairman Aldo Gucci on tax evasion charges in 1986.
Domenico De Sole, who became president of Gucci America in 1984 after Aldo Gucci resigned, issued a statement that said, in part: "It is a great satisfaction to us to finally put this unfortunate episode behind us and look to the future. . . . No one can take pleasure in acknowledging wrongdoing, albeit that of prior management."
Gucci attorney Allan A. Tuttle pleaded guilty, on behalf of the company, to a document known as a criminal information.