Tax evasion leads to prison

Chico man gets three years, 10 months for false claim

A Chico man was sentenced in a Sacramento federal court on May 29 to three years and 10 months in prison for tax fraud.

Randy Barker, 59, was convicted in February on three counts of filing false claims against the government. Barker and his wife, Tamara, were indicted last July for a 2008 income-tax return that claimed $1.4 million in interest income, which led to a refund of $987,900.

The Barkers spent most of the money within weeks, paying $495,000 for a house near Canyon Oaks Country Club and $81,000 for home furnishings. Tamara Barker died Aug. 21 of what the Butte County Coroner’s Office termed “undetermined reasons.”

Court documents connect Randy Barker with the Tax Challenger community which, according to a Department of Justice press release, is “a group of individuals who believe that the tax laws are unconstitutional or otherwise invalid.”