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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Survivor winner denies tax fiddle
Richard Hatch
Mr Hatch has denied all the charges
The first winner of US reality TV show Survivor has pleaded not guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud and other charges, a prosecutor has said.

Richard Hatch, who won $1m (544,000) on the reality show in 2000, appeared in court in Rhode Island on Monday.

The 44-year-old is accused of failing to pay taxes on his Survivor winnings as well as about $391,000 (216,500).

If convicted, Mr Hatch could face a fine of up to $1.35m (748,000) and up to 73 years in prison.

Radio show

He was released on a $50,000 (27,700) bond.

The 10-count indictment claims Mr Hatch prepared but failed to file tax returns for 2000, which concluded he owed about $442,000 (244,900).

He is also accused of pocketing $36,500 (20,200) in personal appearance money given to him for charitable donations.

And prosecutors say Mr Hatch failed to pay tax on $391,000 he earned from co-hosting a radio show in Boston and rent on property in Newport, Rhode Island.

Deal

Mr Hatch backed out of a deal with prosecutors in March to plead guilty to two tax evasion charges that carried a maximum jail sentence of 10 years and a $500,000 (277,000) fine.

His lawyer previously said CBS, the TV network behind Survivor, should have classed him as an employee and withheld taxes from the winnings.

Mr Hatch shot to fame in Survivor as one of 16 contestants marooned on the Malaysian island of Pulau Tiga.

More than 50 million people tuned in to the final of the series, which helped spark the boom in reality TV in the US.


SEE ALSO:
Survivor winner faces tax trial
09 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
Hometown honour for Survivor winner
19 Sep 00 |  Entertainment
US TV's million-dollar Survivor
24 Aug 00 |  Entertainment


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