The owner of a Utah-based online gun parts store has been sentenced to four years in prison for selling guns without a license and filing fraudulent tax returns.
Adam Webber claimed to be a firearms enthusiast selling gun parts from his basement under the brand HK Parts. In reality, according to a sentencing memo written by the prosecution, Webber used HK Parts to sell guns without a license and earn millions of dollars he failed to disclose in his tax forms.
“At a jury trial in September 2016, the United States proved that the Defendant’s outward manifestation as an American entrepreneur selling gun parts from his basement home to provide for his family was merely a guise,” the memo begins.
“The truth proven at trial is that the Defendant is a sophisticated illegal firearms dealer, who cleverly implemented a scheme to conceal his illicit activities and the massive income he generated from injecting illegal firearm sales into his gun parts online business.”
Following a botched machine gun sale, Webber agreed in June 2007 to never obtain a federal firearms license. Or engage in the business of selling firearms. He nonetheless continued to sell firearms through his company. Raking in millions of dollars in profits and sales from 2007 to 2010.
Webber’s willingness to sell firearms in person—sometimes in commercial parking lots—allowed undercover ATF agents to catch Webber selling firearms illegally on two separate occasions.
While Webber admitted to selling over 1,500 firearms without a license, his attorneys argued that their client misreported his income out of ignorance of his business’s success. But prosecutors noted that Webber possessed all the necessary information in his own collection of documents:
“The Internal Revenue Service did not need to generate any documents to reach a gross receipts figure for each of the years, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The numbers were in the Defendant’s own documents. The numbers were at his fingertips.”
Prosecutors asked the court to sentence Webber to 37 month plus supervised release for tax fraud. Webber’s attorneys responded by noting their client’s willingness to plead guilty to the firearms charges. And to pay back his taxes with penalties and interest totaling $1.8 million. They also pointed out his good reputation among his friends and family. They submitted 45 letters that describe Webber as a respected member of the community.
“Mr. Webber, who is 40 years of age, has lived a good, productive life and has enriched the lives of others in his family, church, and community,” the response reads. “Mr. Webber is a devoted husband, father, son, brother, and uncle. He has been successfully married for over 15 years and has six children.”
Despite these considerations, the court sided with the prosecution. It sentenced Webber to 48 months in prison and fined him $100,000.
U.S. District Judge Dee Benson remained unmoved by Webber’s crestfallen apology at the sentencing.
“I think deceit is one of his most apparent characteristics. I’m not even sure about the speech he gave me today.”