‘Survivor’ Winner Seeks to Void Jail Sentence

     (CN) – “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch asked the 1st Circuit to overturn his 9-month prison sentence.

     Hatch won the $1 million prize in the first season of the CBS reality show, “Survivor.”
     He later faced a 10-count indictment, in part for failing to report the prize money on his tax returns.
     In 2006, a jury convicted Hatch of two counts of tax evasion and one count of filing a false tax return. A federal court slapped him with a 51-month prison sentence, followed by a three-year supervised release.
     Hatch served 3 years in prison before his release in October 2009.
     As part of the release, the court required Hatch to file amended tax returns for 2000 and 2001, and fork over the unpaid taxes, both of which he failed to do.
     U.S. District Judge William Smith sentenced Hatch to another 9 months in prison for violating the terms of his release, which he is serving now.
     Hatch argues in the brief that it wouldn’t have been appropriate for him to file the amended tax returns when he still had a case pending in tax court. He claims that in the meantime, he did cooperate with the IRS agents and kept his probation officers up to speed.
     The brief says that without a decision from the tax court, Hatch didn’t know all of the information he needed for the returns or how much to pay in taxes.
     Hatch points out that the federal court didn’t take into account whether he even had the resources to pay, which he says, violated his right to due process.
     Hatch also contends that a nine-month sentence was inappropriate for what he regards in the brief as “at most, a technical violation.” The government had only asked for six months.
     The reality show contestant seeks to have the appeals court remand the case to the district court for dismissal or further hearing.

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