A federal grand jury has returned an 11-count indictment charging four Salt Lake City residents with conspiring to conceal profits stemming from their mergers and acquisition business from the IRS and under-reporting or not reporting income over a span of approximately seven years.

During that period, the indictment alleges, the defendants sold more than $30 million in stock and used more than more than 20 nominee bank accounts and 30 nominee brokerage accounts to hide and conceal their participation in deals and their ownership and control over the money from stock sales from the IRS.

Charged in the indictment were Lester Hemmert Mower, 49; Eva Jeanette Mower, 49; Adrian Angus Wilson, 48; and Nathan Whitney Drage, 50. The indictment alleges the four were engaged in a merger and acquisition business from 1999 to around 2006. According to the indictment, the defendants, acting through nominee individuals or entities, took private companies public, obtained control of stock of the new public companies, and sold the stock for personal gain. When the stock was sold through multiple brokerage accounts, the defendants obtained the benefit of those sale proceeds, while concealing their control of the money through nominee entities, individuals, and multiple bank accounts, the indictment alleges.

The potential maximum penalty for conspiracy to impair and impede the IRS is up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The potential penalty for tax evasion is up to five years in prison, a fine of $100,000, and the cost of prosecution. Defendants charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

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