'Millionaire' Guest Faces Charges

Wednesday, May 17th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A former ``Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'' contestant who wrote a soon-to-be-released book on how to get on the game show is accused of embezzling nearly $200,000.

Publisher Peter Kaufman of TV Books said he does not know yet what he will do about the release of Paul Barbour's ``Who Wants to be a Contestant.''

Barbour, 38, of Baldwinsville, N.Y., and his brothers, Mark and Mike, were the first three siblings to appear on the game show, though none made it past the preliminary ``fastest-finger'' round.

A federal grand jury in July accused him and a nurse of defrauding an insurance company of more than $190,000 by authorizing dozens of payments to a phony medical services company in 1998, The Syracuse Newspapers reported Wednesday.

Barbour is scheduled to appear in court June 2. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

``I'm just a good guy who didn't do anything wrong who's really getting screwed here,'' he told the newspapers.

He said he disclosed the charges to his publisher. Kaufman disputed that.