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Old 09-08-2005, 06:52 PM   #1
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Default 'Survivor' Winner Indicted on Tax Charges

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Richard Hatch, who won $1 million on the first season of the reality show "Survivor," was indicted Thursday for failing to pay taxes on his winnings from the CBS show.

Hatch faces 10 charges, including tax evasion, filing a false tax return, wire fraud, bank fraud and mail fraud. U.S. Attorney Robert Clark Corrente said Hatch, 44, did not pay taxes on his "Survivor" prize, income from a radio show and rental income. The Newport resident also allegedly used donations to his charity, Horizon Bound, to cover personal expenses.

Prosecutors charged Hatch with two counts of tax evasion in January. He agreed to plead guilty, but backed out of the deal in March, saying he thought CBS was responsible for paying the taxes on his prize. CBS has said Hatch was well aware of his obligations to pay taxes on the money.

On Thursday, Hatch was on a plane headed for Houston to help hurricane victims at the Astrodome and could not be reached for comment, said Rod Mitchell, a spokesman for Hatch's lawyer, Michael Minns.

The grand jury, which received the case after the plea deal fell apart, indicted Hatch for filing false 2000 and 2001 tax returns, which omitted his income from the reality show, $327,000 he was paid to co-host "The Wilde Show" on a Boston radio station and $28,000 in rent on a property he owns in Newport.

The indictment said Hatch had two accountants prepare tax returns that included his "Survivor" winnings but did not file them when he learned he would owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes. In 2002, he had one of the accountants prepare a second return that did not include his TV show winnings. He filed that one, which called for a $4,500 refund, the indictment said.

Hatch was also accused of misusing $36,500 from a nonprofit camp he set up, Horizon Bound. For example, he allegedly kept for himself a $10,000 donation made in return for his appearance on the NBC game show "Weakest Link." He spent the money from the game show on a construction project at his house, the indictment said.

Hatch faces a maximum of 75 years in prison if found guilty on all charges. He also could face millions of dollars in fines.

On "Survivor," Hatch stood out for being a cunning and ruthless competitor, and spent some of his time in the nude. He won the show's first season in August 2000. He has since appeared on other TV shows, most recently the "Battle of the Network Reality Stars" on Bravo.

Since the TV show, Hatch has weathered a series of legal battles. He was arrested in April 2000 on a charge of abusing his then 9-year-old son. That charge was later dropped. In 2002, Hatch was found innocent of assaulting his ex-boyfriend.
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Old 09-08-2005, 07:05 PM   #2
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this is unrelated but ethan zohn is coming to my college next tuesday. wooooooo
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:07 PM   #3
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Yeah! To no one's suprise. I'd bet that cheapskate would pay Uncle Sam soon or later.
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Old 09-09-2005, 04:52 PM   #4
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It's intreasting that this is just now becoming a problem. You think they would have made him pay it along time ago. He doesn't seem to be able to handle alot of moey well.
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Old 09-09-2005, 04:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vienna waits
this is unrelated but ethan zohn is coming to my college next tuesday. wooooooo
That's exciting, he's one of my favorite survivors!
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Old 09-09-2005, 04:58 PM   #6
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What a bonehead. More than that, he's a super creep for the charity fraud. I knew there was just something "wrong" about him. He makes Susan look like Mother Theresa. It'll really look good on him if the fines end up being more than the total income. A couple of years in the cooler might do him some good too. At least he won't mind bending over for the soap (I'm hearing the "Merry Old Land of Oz" song from Family Guy in my head....)
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Old 09-09-2005, 05:15 PM   #7
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He always did seem like a creepy, but this makes it alot worse.
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Old 09-09-2005, 10:56 PM   #8
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'Survivor' winner Hatch set for courtroom showdown

Fri Sep 09, 8:12 PM ET


He was the first "Survivor" -- the much-vilified, nude-fishing champion of the first series in the hit reality-television show. Now, Richard Hatch faces the challenge of a lifetime to avoid federal prison.

Hatch, who claimed the $1 million jackpot on "Survivor" on a South Pacific island in 2000, plans to plead innocent to charges of tax evasion and bank fraud announced against him this week, his lawyer said on Friday.

"This is a publicity scheme and it's disgusting," attorney Michael Minns said, adding that Hollywood and the federal government lacked clear tax guidelines for winners of reality TV shows.

Prosecutors accuse Hatch, a motivational speaker, of failing to report the $1 million winnings in 2000 and about $391,000 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 $442,000 and that he also pocketed $36,500 in personal appearance money given to him for charitable donations.

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If convicted on all counts, the 44-year-old Newport, Rhode Island, native would face a maximum fine of $1.35 million and 73 years in prison.

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 television phenomenon.

The indictment follows a grand jury investigation that began in March when Hatch backed out of a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to two tax evasion charges that carried a maximum 10-year jail sentence and a $500,000 fine.

Minns said CBS, which broadcast the show, should have withheld federal taxes because the network should have classified him as an employee under California law. He said the federal government also must shoulder some blame.

"They need to develop some specific treasury regulation rules like they have on gambling, lotteries and things like that, because there is mass confusion on it," said Minns.

CBS, a unit of Viacom Inc., has said Hatch was responsible for declaring his winnings and paying his taxes.

Hatch was not immediately available for comment. Minns said he was in Houston helping refugees from Hurricane Katrina.
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