Eglin Prison Camp Fashionable Place To BeAP , Associated Press
Oct. 16, 1986 7:24 PM ET
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FLA. EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) _ Aldo Gucci, of the fine leather goods empire, is serving a sentence for tax evasion at the same prison camp as another big name in fashion, Albert Nipon, an official confirmed Thursday.
Superintendent Mike Cooksey said the 81-year-old Gucci arrived Wednesday at the minimum-security camp here.
Gucci pleaded guilty and was sentenced in New York to one year and one day for conspiracy and two counts of tax evasion. He admitted evading more than $7 million in taxes.
He will be assigned a job in prison, but Cooksey said the closest Gucci could get to high fashion would be doing alterations in the laundry.
Cooksey said privacy provisions will prohibit the release of any information on his job once he is assigned unless he signs a release, something Nipon has refused to do.
Nipon, 57, whose company produces women's wear, was sentenced last year in Philadelphia to three years in prison after he admitted cheating the government out of $1.5 million in income taxes and giving $215,000 in bribes, including three dresses valued at $1,200, to three Internal Revenue Service agents.
Other famous people who have served time at Eglin include former Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel, E. Howard Hunt and other Watergate figures and author Robert Mason, convicted of drug smuggling.
Mason, who wrote the best-seller ''Chickenhawk'' about the Vietnam War, joined Cooksey in disputing allegations that the camp is a ''country club prison.''
''It's a work camp here,'' he said in 1984.
Gucci and his two brothers founded Gucci Shops Inc., in New York in 1953. Their father, Guccio Gucci, had founded the family leather business in Florence, Italy.
Aldo Gucci stepped down as chairman of the company in 1984 following bitter family infighting. Tax questions cropped up during a lawsuit filed by his son, Paolo Gucci, in 1982 as an outgrowth of the family dispute.
Authorities alleged that Aldo Gucci had skimmed $12 million from the Gucci stores for himself and relatives.
In addition to being sent to the same prison, Gucci and Nipon were sentenced by U.S. district judges with the same last name.
Judge Vincent L. Broderick, in sentencing Gucci, said that to escape prison would send the wrong message, especially considering the amount of money involved.
Judge Raymond Broderick made a similar comment, saying he wanted to send out a clear message, when he sentenced Nipon.