Accused tax dodger dies

Chico woman was facing federal tax-fraud charges

A 52-year-old Chico woman facing federal charges of tax fraud died on Aug. 21. Tamara Barker and her husband, Randy, were scheduled to be in federal court Sept. 10 related to charges the couple received a nearly $1 million tax return from the IRS based on alleged false income-tax statements.

The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed this week that the woman who died is the same Tamara Barker who was facing that legal action.

According to court documents, the Barkers received a tax-return check from the IRS in early 2009 for $987,900, which they deposited into a Wells Fargo Bank account. Within weeks they reportedly purchased a house in Chico for $495,000, furnished it for $81,000, and bought a Toyota pickup for $28,000. The Barkers were facing up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Butte County Coroner’s Office said the results of an autopsy will not be available for four to six weeks.