Survivor Series $3M Tax Dispute: Richard Hatch Seeks Dismissal of Government Case

Survivor Series $3M Tax

Richard H. Hatch Jr., the inaugural winner of the TV series “Survivor,” has petitioned a Rhode Island federal court to dismiss the government’s claim against him for nearly $3.3 million in unpaid taxes. Hatch argues that these liabilities originate from his problematic criminal conviction for tax evasion almost 20 years ago.

Survivor Series $3M Tax  : Contesting the Conviction

In a brief submitted Tuesday, Hatch maintained he never intended to evade taxes on his $1 million prize from “Survivor” in 2000. He contends his conviction, which resulted in a four-year prison sentence, was influenced by judicial and other biases. Hatch, who is openly gay, highlighted that during jury selection for his 2006 trial, some prospective jurors used anti-gay slurs. Despite this, the presiding judge prohibited him from probing jurors about their attitudes toward gay individuals and allowed jurors to consider his “personal characteristics.”

Hatch also called for the judge’s recusal, noting the judge had previously faced a judicial tenure board over an issue involving Hatch’s son, for which the board admonished the judge. Hatch asserted the prosecution and the IRS exploited prejudices and his fame to pursue him unjustly.

Survivor Series $3M Tax  : Complicated Tax Situation

Hatch argued that the “Survivor” winnings presented a complex tax scenario involving international rules and foreign tax credits, as the money was earned in Malaysia. He claimed he “never willfully attempted to evade taxes” and has been “forthcoming, truthful, and compliant” throughout the lengthy legal proceedings.

Government’s Stance and Legal Battle

In 2006, a Rhode Island jury found Hatch guilty of tax evasion and filing a false return, failing to report about $1.4 million to the IRS, including his “Survivor” prize. He was sentenced to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $475,000 in taxes for 2000 and 2001.