Taxing conviction

Chico man convicted of tax fraud in federal court

A Chico man was convicted in federal court Feb. 14 on three counts of filing false claims against the government.

Randy K. Barker (pictured), 59, and his wife Tamara, 52, were indicted last July for filing an income tax return in 2009 that claimed $1.4 million in interest income. As a result, the couple claimed and received a refund of $987,900 in overpaid income tax. They spent most of the money within weeks, including the purchase of a $495,000 house near the Canyon Oaks Country Club and more than $90,000 in home furnishings.

Three weeks after the indictment, Tamara Barker died. A coroner’s investigation has listed the cause of death as “undetermined.” Barker is scheduled for sentencing May 1 and faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.