An Uppsala businessman suspected of having imported more than 1,400 counterfeit iPhones from China and sold them to telecom operators in Sweden is under investigation for fraud.
Between March and October 2009, the 40-year-old sold 900 iPhones to mobile operator Tele2 and its subsidiaries, as well as 500 more to other mobile phone distributors, the Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT) newspaper reports.
Evidence gathered in the investigation suggests that several of the iPhones, which the man purchased for 400 to 500 kronor ($55-69) apiece, lacked certificates of authenticity.
In total, the man billed his clients for more than 12 million kronor ($1.65 million), money which he then transferred to a personal bank account in Estonia without reporting it to the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).
A Skatteverket audit revealed that the man transferred a total of 20 million kronor in unreported to his overseas account.
The agency is now demanding that the man, who filed for bankruptcy last year, pay 16 million kronor in back taxes and penalties.
In addition, police have launched an investigation into the man’s business dealings.
Tele2 has also launched an investigation into the matter, but has yet to find evidence that the telephones it purchased were fakes.
As of now, the company said, there is no reason for Tele2 customers to worry.
“But if it should emerge that we’re talking about pirated copies, that would be unacceptable and we would have to take responsibility,” Tele2 spokesperson Pernilla Oldmark told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.