Survivor Winner Guilty OfTax Evasion
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - (01/26/06) Richard Hatch, the fatnaked guy who won $1 million in the debut season of thereality show Survivor, was found guilty of failing topay taxes on his winnings Wednesday and taken straight to jail.Hatch was handcuffed and taken into custody because the federaljudge said he was a flight risk. Hatch was found guilty of evadingtaxes on his $1 million Survivor prize, and another $391,000 inother income. Among that was a $25,000 check made out to hischarity, Horizon Bound, that he deposited into his PeoplesCU account in his own name. However, Hatch was acquitted of sevenbank, mail and wire fraud charges that related to the charity,including one that he typed his name on the check of Horizon Boundso that the credit union would deposit it into his personalaccount. Prosecutors said he used the credit union deposit andother donations for the charity for his own personal expenses.During his trial Hatch testified that he thought the producers ofSurvivor, CBS, had agreed to pay the taxes on his $1 million prize,and said the donations he took from the charity were far less thanthe money he had already poured into it. Hatch parlayed his successon Survivor into several other lucrative engagements, including asco-host of a Boston radio station for which he earned $327,000,television commercials for Got Milk? and othertelevision appearances.