September 09, 2005 12:01 AM by Joe Blackmon
Richard Hatch is one of the best known reality TV stars in America. He became a household name when he was able to outwit, outplay, and outlast fifteen other castaways to become the winner of the very first Survivor. Richard Hatch was able to convince enough members of the Survivor jury to vote for him over fellow castaway Kelly Wiglesworth, thereby winning a million dollar prize. However, Richard Hatch had considerable less luck recently with a federal grand jury in Providence, Rhode Island.
Richard Hatch was indicted on Thursday, September 8, 2005 on charges of tax evasion and fraudulently using charitable donations for personal expenses. The grand jury alleges that Hatch failed to report about $1,037,000 income from Survivor and about $391,000 income from other sources.
In addition to his million dollar Survivor prize, some of the other income that Richard Hatch is alleged to have failed to report includes a Pontiac Aztec valued at $27,074 won on Survivor, $326,540 for appearances on a radio program called the Wilde Show, $28,104 in rental income, and $36,500 in charitable donations. The $36,500 in charitable donations were for a charity set up by Hatch called Horizon Bound. Hatch allegedly used the money for personal expenses.
The indictment charges against Hatch are two counts of tax evasion, one count of filing a false S-Corporation income tax return, two counts of wire fraud, four counts of mail fraud, and one count of bank fraud. It should be noted that an indictment is merely an allegation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. For each count of tax evasion, wire fraud, and mail fraud, the maximum penalty that Hatch is facing is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, for bank fraud, Hatch is facing a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.