Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Survivor: Federal Prison -- Richard Hatch Found Guilty of Tax Evasion

Richard Hatch, the first winner on the Survivor series, will now have to navigate a federal prison after a jury in Rhode Island convicted him on all 13 counts of tax evasion.  Hatch was charged with failing to report the $1 million prize he received from Survivor along with over $300,000 from co-hosting a show on a Boston radio station and payments he diverted from a charity he controlled.  After originally agreeing to plead guilty to two counts, Hatch backed out of the deal and went to trial on the charges.  Although defense counsel offered a variation of the "I'm an idiot" defense by asserting that Hatch is the "world's worst bookkeeper," there was no further mention before the jury of the attorney's claim that Hatch made a deal with Survivor's producers for them to pay the taxes on his prize if he did not report that other contestants cheated by secretly eating.  The jury deliberated less than a day before returning its verdict, and in a step not usually seen in white collar cases, the judge ordered that Hatch be taken into custody immediately because he is a flight risk.  An AP story (here) discusses the jury verdict. (ph)

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This guy deserved exactly what he got if you ask me! I mean seriously, can being "the worst bookkeeper" really explain why you happened to forget to mention that you won a million dollars and recieved numerous other funding from jobs and charities? It is only common sense to do that and he must have done his taxes sometime in his life and understand that. Hatch should have read the Survivor contract better too...if he signed that contract that stated that the winner must pay all taxes on prize winnings, than it was his responsibility.

Posted by: michelle s | Jan 25, 2006 2:22:16 PM

I'm a little bothered by the court system. First of all, I think people need to forget about who Richard Hatch was and what he represented. I did not like his "character" but loved his wit and the way he played the game. Problem is that this has nothing to do with him not paying taxes.I think Richard Hatch getting up to 13 years in prison is ridiculous. I've seen murderers and rapists get less than that. The courts are trying to make an "example" out of him and I don't think that's fair. He should get whatever someone unknown would get.

Posted by: Lori Wekerle | Jan 27, 2006 11:59:09 AM

You're "a little bothered by the court system"? Maybe instead of acting like a Hollywood junkie and assuming that Hatch is being treated differently, you could check your facts. One count of tax evasion draws a max of five years in prison. Hatch had two counts, that's ten years. Max sentence for filing a false return, three years...that's thirteen, regardless of who you are. That's called... law. The sentence won't be handed down until late April, so what is it you are complaining about? For all you know the guy could get the minimum sentence. As for celebrities being made an example of, they usually get a slap on the wrist. Check your facts, Hollywood-girl.

Posted by: Rond Drew | Feb 16, 2006 10:22:42 AM

I'm astonished by the female who says she is "a little bothered by the court system" in Hatch's case. She says she loves his " wit and the way he played the game" and concludes by adding he should be treated the same way anybody else is. Okay... well, Lori, how do you know how he will be treated, since he won't be sentenced until April 28,2006? He broke the law and he may face the maximum penalty, just like anyone else. It seems to me that by failing to report the income and then filing a false return, he is saying he should be treated differently. You may want to grow up before you write silly posts based on emotion.

Posted by: M. Martinez | Feb 18, 2006 12:50:24 PM

I just happened to stumble on this report or I wouldn't even bother discussing this topic but the responses that some of you have given Lori, made me decide to add my two cents. To start with I never wasted my time watching this stupid show and as for "Hatch", I could care less if he gets a slap on the wrist or the max sentence but good God, lighten up people. Lori is certainly entitled to her opinion just like the rest of you highly opinionated chatterboxes... Take my advice, get a life and stop wasting yours away watching trash like this. Get off your couch and do something with your lives. Get in the game, don't just be a spectator... later...

Posted by: Tyler | Apr 19, 2006 2:24:11 PM

So, Tyler, just because I choose to watch 1 hour of TV, at the end of my busy day (that, BTW, you have no idea what I do, be it volunteer, dig ditches, or run a Fortune 500 company), you've labled me a couch potato and someone that is just letting life go by? You're really no different than the other "opinionated chatterboxes" that replied to Lori!

Posted by: Darryl M | Jul 25, 2006 7:41:08 AM

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