“Survivor” winner Richard Hatch, who is serving more than four years in prison for failing to pay taxes on his $1 million prize, appealed his convictions Thursday.
In the appeal, filed in 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, Hatch contends the judge prevented him from raising allegations that there was cheating during filming of the debut season of the CBS reality TV show.
Hatch, of Newport, has maintained that the show’s producers struck a deal with him to pay his taxes if he won. He said he had caught them smuggling food to other contestants during taping.
The evidence would have explained why Hatch believed the taxes had already been paid and would have shown that he did not willfully break the law, according to the appeal.
“The excluded testimony eviscerated Hatch’s defense that he had reason to believe the taxes had been paid,” the appeal says.
Hatch was convicted in January of failing to pay taxes on his “Survivor” prize and other income. The appeal seeks to have all the convictions overturned.
CBS spokesman Chris Ender said Thursday that Hatch’s claim had no merit.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office said the government would file a reply brief in the coming weeks.