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Richard Hatch
sentenced to 51 months for tax evasion

Richard Hatch
sentenced to 51 months for tax evasion

Survivor winner must also undergo psychiatric counseling

Richard Hatch, the openly gay winner of the first season of Survivor, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for tax evasion. He will also be required to undergo psychiatric counseling upon his release, and he will have to file amended tax returns for 2000 and 2001 that reflect his earnings and winnings for those years. U.S. district court judge Ernest Torres told the courtroom that he was handing down a harsher sentence because Hatch had lied repeatedly regarding his finances. "His testimony is replete with statements that are flatly contradicted by credible witnesses and documented evidence," said Torres, although Hatch said later that he stood behind everything he had said during the trial.

Hatch originally faced 10 counts against him--including charges of bank, mail, and wire fraud--but a trial in January acquitted him of all but three counts. Had he been found guilty of all charges, he faced as many as 73 years in prison and a fine of $1.35 million. The court determined that Hatch had failed to pay taxes on $1.43 million, which included his million-dollar Survivor prize as well as money from other sources. (The Advocate)

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