Survivor Winner Richard Hatch Behind Bars…Again
This one is mind boggling.
Back in 2000, the new reality television game show Survivor was a huge hit in the U.S. “Who is going to get voted off the island this week” was a conversation staple with friends. You may recall the winner of that first series, Richard Hatch. He pocketed $1 million as a result. Unfortunately, the $1 million has cost Hatch far more than he won.
Fast forward to 2005. The U.S. Attorney’s Office reported that Hatch didn’t claim the $1 million on his U.S. tax return. Yes, prize winnings are taxable income. He also failed to report other income. Hatch was indicted for various charges, including filing a false tax return.
In January 2006, Hatch was found guilty of tax evasion, and in May 2006, he was sentenced to 51 months in prison. Hatch lost his appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court denied his request to hear his case. Hatch served the time and was released from prison in May 2009.
You’d think Hatch did a lot of thinking while serving his time. You’d think he would formulate a plan to set his life straight upon release. Well, you thought wrong.
A year and a half after his release from serving time for filing a false tax return, Hatch was back in court in December 2010 for failing to amend the tax return that he was previously convicted of falsely filing.
Yesterday, he was sentenced to nine months in prison, and must surrender to the U.S. Marshal by noon this Monday, March 14.
It’s one thing to file a tax return and be unable to pay the tax bill due to financial problems. It’s another thing to simply not report the income.
I have no sympathy for Hatch. His actions are simply inexcusable. Only time will tell whether during this prison sentence Hatch actually starts thinking about how to comply with the U.S. tax laws. I’m not betting on it.