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Richard Hatch Ordered to Prison but Will Celebrity Apprentice Survive?

Team Backbone has lost its backbone project manager.
/ Source: E!online

Team Backbone has lost its backbone project manager.

Just days after his semi-triumphant return to reality TV on Celebrity Apprentice, Richard Hatch has been ordered back to a federal prison beginning on Monday. The infamous Survivor schemer must serve another nine months after once again dodging his tax bill.

The sentence starts Monday--so what will happen to his gig working for Donald Trump?

MORE: Survivor has-been Hatch Back in court

First things first. Here's what went down today in federal court in Providence, R.I.

U.S. District Court Judge William Smith handed down the additional time after noting that Hatch--who spent more than three years in the clink for tax evasion --failed to fulfill the terms of his supervised release by not refiling and paying back taxes he owed Uncle Sam for 2000-01.

The taxes in question were for the $1 million jackpot the former corporate trainer won on CBS' inaugural season of Survivor in addition to $350,000 from a Boston radio gig and rent from a property he owned.

As part of his 2006 sentence, Hatch was also given three years' supervised release. That term began in October 2009, when he got out of the federal lockup. But by last Decemeber, prosecutors charged him with violating the terms, saying he never made good on his IRS bill and that he needed to be punished.

Hatch, 49, has steadfastly maintained his innocence and vowed to appeal today's decision.

Once he's done with the nine months, he will be on supervised release again for another 26 months. Not only that, but prosecutors say Hatch now owes more than $2 million to the IRS, including penalties. To help pay those debts, the judge granted the feds' request to garnish 25 percent of the former Tagi Tribesman's gross income.

Hatch also earned an extra three months as a warning to would-be tax evaders, noting the Rhode Island native's lack of remorse.

"You don't have the option of engaging in this type of game or negotiation with the court," chastised Smith. "It needs to be a severe punishment. That's the only thing that will deter you in the future."

The good news is the reality star's latest stint behind bars won't affect his time with The Donald. NBC has confirmed to E! News that the current season of Celebrity Apprentice, which kicked off last Sunday, has filmed all but the final, live episode set to air May 22. Of course, barring any last-minute miracle, Hatch will have to watch that episode from behind bars

And in case you're wondering, any money Hatch makes off his appearance on Celebrity Apprentice automatically goes to charity.

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