How Gucci boss was paid a fortune through Kering tax-dodge scheme

By and Vittorio Malagutti (L'Espresso) Et Jürgen Dahlkamp (Der Spiegel)

French giant luxury goods and haute couture group Kering mounted a tax avoidance scheme, validated by its chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault, to pay via a Luxembourg-registered firm the boss of its Italian subsidiary Gucci, Marco Bizzarri, who was domiciled for the purpose in Switzerland, according to confidential documents obtained by Mediapart and its partners in the journalistic consortium European Investigative Collaborations. The scheme, which began in 2010 when Bizzarri then headed another Kering subsidiary in Italy, Bottega Veneta, allowed both parties to avoid tens of millions of euros in potential tax payments, as Yann Philippin, with Vittorio Malagutti (from Italian weekly L'Espresso) and Jürgen Dahlkamp (from German weekly Der Spiegel) report.

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In November last year, Italian police raided the Milan offices and Florence headquarters of Gucci, the high-flying fashion brand founded in 1921 and now owned by French luxury goods group Kering, as part of an ongoing investigation launched by Milan prosecutors into suspected, and massive, tax evasion by the firm.