Hatch found guilty of failing to pay taxes on `Survivor' winnings
Wednesday, January 25th 2006, 1:06 pm
By: News On 6
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Richard Hatch, who won $1 million in the first season of ``Survivor,'' was found guilty Wednesday of failing to pay taxes on his winnings.
Hatch was also convicted of evading taxes on $327,000 he earned as co-host of a Boston radio show and $28,000 in rent on property he owned. He was acquitted of seven bank, mail and wire fraud charges.
Hatch, 44, faces up to 13 years in prison and a fine of $600,000.
Jurors deliberated for less than a day after more than a week of testimony.
One possible explanation for Hatch's failure to pay taxes was raised by his lawyer toward the end of the trial but was never mentioned in the jury's presence.
Hatch's lawyer, Michael Minns, said Hatch caught fellow contestants cheating and struck a deal with producers for the show to pay his taxes if he won. But, ultimately, Hatch was never asked about the allegation when he testified.
Instead, Minns told jurors that Hatch, who lives in Newport, was the ``world's worst bookkeeper'' and said his client never meant to do anything wrong.
Hatch testified that he thought producers were supposed to pay his ``Survivor'' taxes, and said the donations he took from his charity were far less than the money he had already poured into it.