Icelandic’s Olafsson: I Paid Taxes

A day late and a dollar already paid.

That’s the gist of Icelandic Water Holdings Chairman Jon
Olafsson’s filed response to tax evasion charges filed against him by Icelandic
authorities earlier this month.

According to Olafsson, whose company makes the fast-growing
carbon-neutral water brand Icelandic Glacial, a 6 ½ year delay from the start
of an investigation into his tax status to Icelandic authorities finally
getting around to charging him is cause enough for dismissal of the case.

Even more important, however, according to Olafsson, is the
other reason he believes the case should be tossed: he says he’s already paid
what he owed, anyway.

“He has paid all taxes,” said Garrett Waltzer, an attorney
with the firm of Skadden, Arps, who represents Olafsson.

In a motion to dismiss the charges filed in an Icelandic court
on July 16, Waltzer argued that the criminal charges against his client – which
allege that Olafsson had failed to pay 361 million Icelandic Kronur over a
five-year period – were a kind of double-jeopardy.

“Mr. Olafsson’s motion argues that the criminal charges must
be dismissed because he has already paid tax penalties to the Icelandic tax
authorities based on the same matters that are at issue in the case,” Waltzer
wrote in a statement to BevNET. “The criminal charges violate Mr. Olafsson’s
rights under Icelandic law, which prohibits punishment of an individual twice
for the same offense.”

The case arising against Olafsson resulted in an
investigation begun in 2002 by Iceland‘s
Directorate of Tax Investigations, according to Waltzer. Although that
investigation ended in 2003, no charges were filed until 2008, according to the

The case is expected to resume in September, according to