I think the fact that they called tech support with a printed, albeit fake, license says there's a good chance they thought they'd purchased legitimate product. Oftentimes even at large companies, individual departments and offices have a good deal of control over choosing their own local vendors. It's not always centrally controlled. If they bought through a company they thought was a legitimate reseller, that would explain it. I doubt a rogue sysadmin would counterfeit paper license certificates.
I'm also quite leery of buying from Sony for all the reasons Razi stated plus some rather unsatisfactory support experiences I'd had in the past. I actually did consider buying a PRS, though, since there are so few options for reading devices and the hardware does seem quite right. Turns out it wasn't the right device for me. Still, just because I hate many of their business practices doesn't mean they're complete crooks. I'm getting the feeling this was an accident.