HK Parts owner sentenced to 4 years in prison for gun, tax crimes

A federal court sentenced the owner of the Utah-based HK Parts on Thursday to four years in prison for dealing guns without a license and filing fraudulent tax returns.

Adam Webber, 40, was convicted earlier this year of violating an agreement to “never” operate as a firearms dealer and hiding more than $800,000 of taxable income over a four-year period.

In a sentencing memo, prosecutors described Webber as putting on a front by posing as a humble American entrepreneur selling gun parts out of his basement to provide for his family. In reality, it was all a scheme to conceal illicit activities. He had injected illegal firearms sales into his gun parts business and then covered up the activity by underreporting revenue.

According to court documents, Webber signed an agreement with the ATF in 2007 stating that he would never obtain a federal firearms license or engage in a business with one following a botched machine gun sale. But he went ahead and opened an online business selling gun parts and expanded that business by selling guns.

On its website, HK Parts said it had an FFL, but that statement was false. The business’s FFL was through the entity Midnight Labs and Webber had an active role in managing firearm transfers — often conducting sales in places like parking lots — and would accept payments directly. Then, in two separate occasions, he sold guns to an undercover ATF agent.

Part of that effort to conceal the sales included racking up millions in online credit card transactions and then underreporting them on financial filings and even in some cases reported losses. A search of his house uncovered thousands in cash and silver. In all, Webber failed to pay $800,818 of income tax between 2009 and 2012.

“Rather than run an honest firearm parts business that paid its taxes, he chose to run a firearms parts business infused with illegal firearms sales and capital diverted from the United States Treasury,” prosecutors said in the sentencing memo.

Webber’s attorneys argued that he unwittingly underpaid his taxes and he was simply a poor planner. But prosecutors said he bought a second house valued at $670,000 with cash and other properties, and even sought the advice of wealth managers. They argued that he knew exactly what he was doing when he filed inaccurate tax returns.

Prosecutors advised the court to hand down a sentence of 37 month plus supervised release for tax fraud. In a response, Webber’s defense asked for leniency since he had paid back taxes with interest and penalties to the tune of $1.8 million and had admitted guilt to firearms charges.

His attorneys filed 45 letters from friends and family who describe Webber as a stand up friend, family and business man. They also argued that none of the weapons he sold were recovered at crime scenes. They asked for probation only, but the judge said he was unmoved by the effort given the evidence of Webber’s crimes.

The sentencing ends a more than three-year court battle. The U.S. Attorney’s Office indicted Webber in August 2014.

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