The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear Richard Hatch’s appeal of his conviction for failing to pay taxes on the $1 million prize he won on the debut season of “Survivor.”
Hatch, 47, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison after his 2006 conviction for tax evasion in federal court in Providence. He is scheduled to be released in October 2009.
Hatch’s appeal was already denied by a federal appeals court in Boston and was among more than a thousand rejected last week by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court did not explain its reasoning.
“He’s disappointed with the decision,” Hatch’s attorney, Michael Minns, said Wednesday. “He’s been worried about his family and taking care of them the entire time.”
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Rhode Island, which prosecuted Hatch, did not comment Wednesday.
Hatch, of Newport, argued in his appeal that a judge improperly barred him from raising allegations of cheating during the taping of the hit CBS show and from explaining why he believed the producers would pay his taxes for him.
During the trial, Minns told U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres outside the jury’s presence that Hatch had caught show employees smuggling food to other contestants during taping in Borneo in 2000. He said a producer promised him his taxes would be paid if he kept quiet and went on to win the competition, a claim CBS has strongly denied.
Besides his “Survivor” winnings, Hatch also was 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 owed.
He was acquitted of seven bank, mail and wire fraud charges that related to his charity, Horizon Bound, an outdoors program he planned to open for troubled youth.