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Chico Man Convicted of Tax Fraud

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Butte County man who belongs to a group that believes tax laws are unconstitutional has been convicted of committing nearly $1 million in income tax fraud. U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said Thursday that Randy Barker of Chico falsely claimed more than $1.4 million in income for 2008 and that the same amount had been withheld in taxes, leading to a refund of nearly $1 million. During the two-day trial in Sacramento, evidence showed Barker and his wife spent most of the refund within weeks, including buying a house for $495,000. Court documents also say Barker is a member of the "Tax Challenger," a group that doesn't believe in tax laws. Barker could get 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he's sentenced May 1.

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