News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Jury Convicts Chico Man for Tax Fraud

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Docket #: 2:12-cr-266-KJM



SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After a two-day trial, a federal jury convicted Randy K. Barker, 59, of Chico, today of three counts related to the filing of false claims against the government, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to testimony presented at trial, Barker filed a 2008 income tax return in February 2009 that falsely claimed more than $1.4 million in interest income and falsely claimed that the same amount had been withheld in tax. This combination allowed Barker to claim a refund of $987,900 in allegedly overpaid income tax. According to evidence presented at trial, Barker uploaded false interest reporting forms to an Internal Revenue Service database in an attempt to conceal the fraudulent nature of the claims. Evidence showed that, after receiving the refund, Barker and his wife spent the majority of the money within weeks by making extensive cash withdrawals and by purchasing a $495,000 house, more than $90,000 in home furnishings, and a truck. Barker was convicted of filing a false claim against the United States, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and money laundering.

According to other court documents, Barker is associated with the Tax Challenger community, a group of individuals who believe that the tax laws are unconstitutional or otherwise invalid.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Jared C. Dolan and Matthew G. Morris prosecuted the case.

Barker is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on May 1, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. The maximum statutory penalty for the conviction is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.



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