Skip to comments.Survivor Hatch waits on tax verdict
Posted on 01/24/2006 7:52:05 PM PST by Aussie Dasher
RICHARD Hatch, the much-vilified first winner of the hit US reality television show Survivor, will know in a day if he survived a challenge that could jail him for a lifetime.
A jury is expected to decide tomorrow whether the winner of the $US1 million ($1.33 million) jackpot on Survivor on a South Pacific island in 2000 is guilty of tax evasion, bank fraud and other charges filed by the US Attorney's office in Providence, Rhode Island.
Prosecutors accuse Hatch, a motivational speaker, of failing to report the $US1 million winnings in 2000 and about $US391,000 he earned from half a dozen other sources.
The 10-count indictment says Hatch prepared but failed to file tax returns for 2000 which concluded he owed about $US442,000 and that he also pocketed $US36,500 in personal appearance money given to him for charitable donations.
If convicted on all counts, the 44-year-old Newport, Rhode Island, native would face a maximum fine of $US1.35 million and 73 years in prison.
In closing arguments today, prosecutor Andrew Reich said Hatch misled his accountant when he filed a 2000 tax return that excluded payment on his winnings, after signing a statement saying he understood it was prepared only for informational purposes.
Jodi Rodrigues Wallis, an accountant and Hatch family friend, testified in the trial that Hatch had asked her to prepare the return so that he could see the impact the winnings would have on his finances.
Defence lawyers said that Hatch's failure to pay taxes was an honest mistake and that prosectors had not proven Hatch willfully intended to evade the federal government.
"I can guarantee you there's not a person in this court that knows all the tax laws. It's an absolute impossibility," defence lawyer Michael Minns said.
"Honest people do the best they can and they make mistakes every day."
Hatch was viewed by some as a brash, manipulative schemer but grudgingly admired by others for his savvy and determination to win. He and other contestants on the first Survivor helped launch reality shows as a US television phenomenon.
I certainly wouldn't want to share a cell with him...
Perhaps he can be voted into solitary confinement.
Honest people do make honest mistakes ---- but when you claim that you 'accidentally' didn't pay your taxes on a $1 million prize awarded on national TV - it streaches the limits of logic or believability.
Sorry Hatch - you tried to rook the Feds out of their cut - you will loose.
Interesting, every time I win the LOTTO they take withholding taxes out up front...
I forget...is this the gay, walk around naked guy?
Yes....he'll LOVE prison!!
How can you face jail time for stupid tax evasion? Absurd.
Perhaps we should ask Al Capone...?
There is no defence to the charge of Stupid Tax evasion.
"I thought I was so smart I didn't have to pay the Stupid Tax" - wrong answer
A Clinton would get away with this. This guy is going to prison.
His fines, $1.35 million.
His fines, $1.35 million.
Absolutely! Divine retribution for helping "reality" TV take root.
"he also pocketed $US36,500 in personal appearance money given to him for charitable donations."
He is guilty of more than Tax evasion if this is correct. This is money that should have gone to those charitys. So he committed fraud.
That plus 10 years in chokey would constitute justice in many persons' view.
----They want the rights of and to be treated like heterosexual men so he commited a crime (star/homo status or not), put his ass in jail. He was an arrogant bastard anyway and thinks he is above the law.
I wouldn't be so sure. He's gay. He may just get a slap on his [limp] wrist and receive a suspended sentence and fines (IRS will always insist on the money), just as in the spate of recent female-on-male/male-on-male teacher/student rapes/exploitations.
He was found guilty and is in custody.