The owner of the online retailer HK Parts pleaded guilty to engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license, according to his signed statement filed in a Salt Lake City federal court this month.
Adam Webber, of Salt Lake County, entered the plea seven months after a federal jury found him guilty of the same charge. He had been fighting the conviction since September, but the court denied him a new trial, court documents show.
In his statement, Webber said that he understood the government could prove that: “First, that I was a dealer in firearms engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail; Second, that I engaged in the business without a license under federal law; and Third, that I acted willfully, knowing that my conduct was unlawful.”
Webber agreed to forfeit property related to his offense, including 409 firearms. He also agreed to pay an estimated $942,435 plus interest and penalties to the Internal Revenue Service for missed tax payments from 2007 to 2010.
The Justice Department filed criminal charges against Webber in September 2014, but allegations were revised in a superseding indictment 10 months later. The charges stem from an agreement Webber made with the Justice Department in 2007 in which he agreed to never deal in firearms or obtain a Federal Firearms License.
Webber signed the 2007 agreement after he failed to properly transfer a machine gun — an item heavily regulated by federal law — to a buyer, as previously reported by Guns.com. Webber’s attorney for the case argued that the transaction was a clerical misstep that put him on the ATF’s radar and he later signed the agreement under duress.
According to court documents, Webber registered HK Parts as a business in Utah in 2007 to sell gun parts, accessories and swag related to products by Heckler & Koch, a German gun company, but not firearms. However, he had been stockpiling guns and from 2009 to 2012, he sold them through another business and from his home, hid the profits and also underreported earnings from his business.
Webber is scheduled to appear at a sentencing hearing on Aug. 3 at the Salt Lake City federal courthouse. He faces up to 33 years in prison.