Jon Olafsson, the chairman of Icelandic Water Holdings,
makers of Icelandic Glacial bottled water, has been charged with tax evasion by
the Icelandic government, the Icelandic news site Visir.is reported.
The article said Olafsson’s tax evasion spanned from
1999-2002 – before he founded Icelandic Glacial – when he failed to pay a total
of 361 million Icelandic Kronur, or $4.65 million U.S. His case is scheduled to
be heard in court July 16.
This is not the first time Olafsson, who lives in Great Britain
has faced tax evasion charges. The PRS Group/International Country Risk Guide
from March 2003 reported that National Tax Investigation Office in 2003 cited Olafsson
for withholding $41 million from the government between 1996 and 2001. The office
revealed that citation, PRS reported, three days after Olafsson’s name surfaced
in a verbal battle between Prime Minister David Oddson and Reykjavik Mayor
Ingiborg Solrun Gisladottir.
Olafsson – through Icelandic Glacial Spokesman Peter Ramsay
– said the case would not affect “in any way the current day to day operations
of Iceland Water Holdings.”
The written statement also said that Olafsson believes that
the charges are “without merit,” as “Olafsson believes that his personal tax
status conforms fully with the requirements of Icelandic law.”
Representatives of Anheuser-Busch, which owns 20 percent of
the company and now distributes Icelandic Glacial in the U.S., referred questions to Icelandic Water Holdings.