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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

‘Survivor’ Star May Be Heading Back to Prison

(CN) - Richard Hatch, who won $1 million in the first season of "Survivor," violated the terms of his supervised release from prison, a Rhode Island federal judge ruled Monday.

Hatch served three years in prison on tax evasion charges after a 2006 jury trial found that he failed to report his "Survivor" prize and other earnings as taxable income. The 1st Circuit in Boston upheld the conviction two years later.

U.S. District Judge William Smith of Providence said he would sentence Hatch after taking recommendations and briefs from counsel over the next three weeks.

Hatch had motioned for early termination of the supervised release in early November, but Smith refused later that month. The latest ruling will likely send Hatch back to prison.

Prosecutors said Hatch's sentence, to 51 months in prison and three years of supervised release, reflected an adjustment because Hatch perjured himself at trial and lied to probation officers.

As part of Hatch's release, the reality show winner was supposed to have sought mental health counseling, file amended tax returns for 2000 and 2001, and pay the taxes due for those years.

Hatch claimed he complied with the orders, but prosecutors said that was "simply false."

They submitted evidence that Hatch never filed the necessary amended tax returns and still owes more than $400,000 in back taxes. Hatch has also not paid any portion of recent earnings to the Internal Revenue Service, according to court filings.

With penalties and interest, the IRS estimates that Hatch owes $1.7 million.

"The defendant continues to thumb his nose at the court," Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Reich wrote in the Nov. 12 filing. "The defendant continues to make false representations to the court regarding his compliance with the conditions of supervised release, the position of the IRS, and the position of the probation office. Yet, he has the audacity to come before this court and ask for early termination of his supervised release."

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