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News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

March 11, 2011


Former “Survivor” contestant failed to file amended tax returns and
pay taxes on earnings, including $1M TV show winnings

PROVIDENCE, RI – Richard Hatch, 55, of Newport, RI, was sentenced Friday to nine months in federal prison for violating the terms of supervised release imposed by a U.S. District Court judge as a result of Hatch’s May 2006 conviction for tax evasion, it was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

According to information provided to the court, Hatch violated the terms of supervised release by failing to file amended tax returns for years 2000 and 2001, and not paying more than $1.5M in taxes and penalties owed to the IRS. The total tax and penalties now owed by Hatch is estimated to be approximately two million dollars, according to information provided to the court.

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, “The sentence imposed by Judge Smith, the maximum sentence allowed under the guidelines, sends the right message that regardless how hard you try to manipulate the system to avoid paying your taxes, in the end you will be held accountable.”

At Friday’s sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Reich told the court that Hatch acted with deliberation in failing to follow the terms of his supervised release by failing to file amended tax returns for the years 2000 and 2001, and by not making any effort to pay to the IRS taxes and penalties due.

In January 2006, a federal jury convicted Hatch of tax evasion and filing a false return for not reporting to the IRS about $1.4M that he earned from the “Survivor” television series and other sources. In May 2006, then U.S. District Court Chief Judge Ernest C. Torres sentenced Hatch to 51 months in federal prison and ordered Hatch to pay taxes that he owes for 2000 and 2001, which the IRS at the time calculated at $474,971, plus interest and penalties.   

U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith ordered Hatch to surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service by noon Monday to begin serving his sentence. In addition, Judge Smith sentenced Hatch to 26 months of supervised release upon his release from prison, with a single condition that 25% of Hatch’s gross wages be provided for payment to the IRS.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Reich and Lee Vilker prosecuted the case. The matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.



Contact: 401-709-5357

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