Police said the 37-year-old Gothenburg man was sentenced to one year in prison in January 2008 after being convicted of charges including copyright infringement, breaking Swedish medical laws and handling smuggled goods, the Swedish news agency TT reported Thursday.
However, the man was not held in remand in between being sentenced and the start of his prison term, and police said during that time he convinced a friend to serve the sentence for him. Investigators said the convict took out a driver's license bearing his own name and the picture of his friend to carry out the identity swap.
Police said the other man had served the majority of the sentence by the time the ruse was discovered. The man was set free.
"We were the victims of advanced con," said Ulf Jonson of the Swedish Prison and Probation Service.
Police said an international arrest warrant has been issued for the convict, who is believed to have fled to the Philippines.