Tax evader Richard Hatch claims he was sent to prison b/c he’s gay

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Corporate trainer Richard Hatch won the first season of Survivor in 2000. He was known for being sneaky on the show and cutting deals with people and often went completely naked, requiring many scenes to be blurred in pertinent places. The guy was determined to win Survivor, and he did, but he also never paid taxes on his $1 million earnings, something he claimed that CBS executives assured him was taken care of. There was also the matter of failing to report an additional $312,000 in separate earnings. Hatch was sentenced on federal tax evasion charges in 2006, after refusing to take a plea bargain that would have kept him out of prison.

Hatch is out of prison after serving three and a half years, 42 months, on a 51 month sentence. He’s now under house arrest at his sister’s place in Newport, Rhode Island – at least he was until yesterday, when he was hauled back to federal prison for some reason that the feds won’t specify. Apparently he broke the terms of his home confinement somehow. Before going back to prison, though, Hatch granted an interview to The Today Show in which he blamed everyone else for his conviction and jail term, including the prosecutor and the judge, saying he wouldn’t have received such a harsh sentence if he wasn’t gay.

Mere hours after he sat down for an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Matt Lauer, America’s first broadcast-TV reality show star Richard Hatch found himself back behind bars as a federal prisoner.

Hatch was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his sister’s home in Newport, R.I., where he has been living under house arrest after spending nearly four years in prison for tax evasion. Late Tuesday, authorities would not disclose the reason for Hatch’s arrest…

Before being taken back into custody, Richard Hatch had to get permission a week in advance to leave his sister’s property for any reason.

During his interview with Lauer on Tuesday morning, Hatch insisted he is innocent of the tax-evasion charges that put him in behind bars in the first place. He has maintained that CBS, which produced and aired the first “Survivor” series that starred Hatch in 2000, promised to pay the taxes on the $1 million he won on the show.

“I know without question that there are personal issues involved for the prosecutor. I don’t know why. The prosecutorial misconduct has been egregious,” Hatch told Lauer. “He told the court I didn’t pay my taxes in 2000, and he told the court I haven’t been cooperative. The IRS specifically contradicts that. I don’t have a bill for 2000. I haven’t even been assessed for 2000. And I’ve been fully cooperative.”

He insisted he will pay whatever taxes he owes when he gets a bill from the IRS.

“Whatever they assess, I’m going to pay. Whatever is owed, I will pay,” Hatch told Lauer. “I’ve to this day never had an assessment. There were other issues on those tax returns, as there would be on any American’s return, that people would question.”

In Tuesday’s interview, Hatch said he believed he had been made a victim because of his open homosexuality. Former U.S. Attorney Robert Clark Corrente, whose office oversaw Hatch’s case, told WPRO-AM that Hatch is “delusional.”

Before his arrest on Tuesday afternoon, Hatch, 48, had been scheduled to be released from house arrest on Oct. 7. He told Lauer that he is “financially devastated” after paying lawyers and being imprisoned for nearly four years.


Maybe this guy is right that he was mistreated in some way, but he’s so arrogant and cocky that it’s hard to believe him at all. A lot of people get screwed by government agencies and it’s possible he wasn’t given the chance to make amends before they threw the book at him. He should have filed his taxes – period. I can buy his claim that CBS told him that the taxes were taken care of before they gave him the money. There was another $321k, though, and Matt Lauer also mentioned a car that Hatch won and never paid taxes on. I think Hatch just believed he was above the law and now he’s refusing to admit that he was in the wrong. How convenient for him to claim that he would have been able to avoid jail time if he was straight. His conviction probably had everything to do with his illegal behavior and entitled attitude, not his orientation.


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14 Responses to “Tax evader Richard Hatch claims he was sent to prison b/c he’s gay”

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  1. AlaskaJoey says:

    I don’t believe CBS ever agreed to pay his taxes – why would they do that? What’s in it for them? And if they did say that and he didn’t get it in writing, he’s an idiot.

  2. Giz says:

    Oh yeah the IRS’s main concern was Hatch’s sexual orientation. No, Hatch was sent to prison because he was an arrogant jerk who maybe or maybe not didn’t want to pay his taxes. Arrogance eventually has a way of catching up with a person. In his case, sooner than later.

  3. maddie says:

    It’s a known fact that any bog monetary prize you win in any contest YOU pay the taxes.

    I remember some guy trying to sue The Price Is Right over money/taxes he had to shell out because he won two cars on the show.

    I truly doubt CBS told him they pay for his taxes, why the hell would they in the first place?

    Richard is a clueless A** who just happens to be gay.

  4. the original kate says:

    no richard, you went to jail because you’re a dumbass who didn’t pay his taxes. yeah, gay people can be dumbasses, too!

  5. dizzybenny says:

    well i hope he’s right because that means i’ll NEVER go to jail!! 🙂

  6. KateNonymous says:

    He’s probably right. That’s why they got Capone, too.

    (eyes rolling)

  7. Cinderella says:

    Oh, and if Today paid him for this interview, he better put it down for ’09. It counts! Dumbass.

  8. Hieronymus Grex says:

    No, you were sent to jail for failure to pay on taxes owed from your 1 million dollar Survivor prize, dullard.

  9. MeowBea says:

    HE’S AN IDIOT!!! Maybe CBS will pay for my Taxes too !! (NOT)

  10. For Sooth? says:

    I suppose Martha was put in the slammer because she’s gay?

  11. Gigohead says:

    Richard Hatch is a jerk and should have kept his big mouth shut and not gone TV until he was finished with his probation.

    This man is incredibly stupid.

  12. Jaybone says:

    CBS would have paid those taxes ONLY if the prize had ALWAYS been advertised as “a TAX-FREE $1 million”. He was put in prison not because he is gay, but because he is a total and complete ASSHOLE!

  13. Jake says:

    He is probably right. I know a couple people who tried to sneak something by the IRS, got audited and paid a fine.

    4 years for cheating on taxes is absurd.

  14. Snoopchew says:

    And by doing this interview so soon after his release, proves he is still the most arrogant ass on the planet.