HK Parts owner convicted on gun, tax charges

A federal jury convicted owner of the Utah-based HK Parts of dealing guns without a license and filing a false tax returns, the Justice Department announced Friday.

Adam Webber, of Salt Lake County, had been fighting the charges — one count of dealing guns without a license and five counts of filing false tax returns — for more than two years. Webber will appear at a sentencing hearing on Dec. 1 where he faces up to 20 years in prison.

According to court documents, Webber amassed an inventory of guns for his business, which violated an agreement he signed in 2007 with the U.S. saying he would never apply for a Federal Firearms License nor operate a business that sells firearms. The agreement was a compromise after Webber failed to properly transfer a machine gun to a buyer.

Yet, following the conviction, the Justice Department issued a press release that shed light on details regarding the charges that weren’t displayed in court documents, which were mostly sealed from public view.

Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that showed Webber added firearms to his product line and primarily sold them through his online business HKParts.net. He also sold guns and gun parts out of the basement of his house.

From 2009 through May 2012, he illegally sold firearms under the auspices of a company owned by another Utah resident, and also sold guns to an undercover ATF agent on two separate occasions, including selling a gun for cash in a parking lot, the Justice Department said.

Then in May 2012, the authorities executed a search warrant at Webber’s home and found $180,000 in cash, a 70 pound silver bar, silver coins and guns.

Investigators found from 2007 through 2010, Webber earned more than $10 million in gross receipts from his illegal firearms business, but only reported $183,397 in gross receipts, the Justice Department said. Webber underreported his earnings on his 2007, 2008 and 2009 individual income tax returns and underreported gross receipts on his 2009 and 2010 corporate tax returns.

“Around 2,000 firearms were involved in this conduct. Evidence at trial showed that Mr. Webber claimed a mere fraction of his gross receipts on his tax forms over a four-year period,” said U.S. Attorney John Huber. The Justice Department added that in 2010, Webber paid $670,000 in cash for a new home in Salt Lake County.

In a 2012 civil case, Webber sued the federal government to recover firearms that had been seized, but that case was put on hold until the criminal trial closed.