A federal appeals court has upheld the tax fraud convictions of the founders of the Utah County-based Neways cosmetics and health supplement company.

In a 75-page decision released Wednesday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld the convictions of Thomas Mower, his former wife, Leslie, and their former corporate attorney James Thompson.

"The evidence against each defendant — not any 'spillover effect' of evidence against others — provided a sufficient and independent basis for the conviction of both Leslie Mower and James Thompson," the court wrote in its decision, which also upheld Thomas Mower's conviction.

After a jury trial in 2005, the Mowers were convicted of cheating the Internal Revenue Service out of more than $1 million in taxes by failing to report that they had cashed more than $3 million in overseas commission checks. Thompson was convicted of obstructing the IRS investigation.

Attorneys for the three brought up a number of issues and challenges, including the sufficiency of evidence, trial errors, and sentencing issues. The court denied all of them.

"The convictions and sentences of Thomas Mower, Leslie Mower, and James Thompson are affirmed," the court wrote.

Leslie Mower was sentenced in 2006 to serve just over two years in federal prison. Thomas Mower was sentenced to nearly three years. Thompson was sentenced to a year and a day.

In November 2006, Neways was acquired by San Francisco-based private equity firm Golden Gate Capital.

E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com