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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 February 2008, 16:00 GMT
Survivor Hatch loses appeal case
Richard Hatch
Richard Hatch is due to be released in October 2009
US Survivor winner Richard Hatch, who was convicted of failing to pay tax on his $1m (500,000) prize money, has lost his appeal against conviction.

The Boston-based Court of Appeals ruled that Hatch had not been able to back up his original defence case.

Hatch had claimed that the show's producers had told him they would pay his income tax if he kept silent about alleged cheating on the show.

Hatch was sentenced to more than four years' imprisonment in May 2006.

The appeal court said Hatch had been given several chances during his trial to give details of the alleged deal but never did.

"The failure of Hatch to present any evidence of such conversations when invited by the court strongly suggested that no actual promises were made, and no such 'deal' actually existed," it said in a statement.

"It was not the court's right, much less duty, to put words in Hatch's mouth."

But Hatch's lawyer Michael Minns argued that his client had been prevented by the trial judge from describing the alleged deal.

Mr Minns said he had been told by US District Judge Ernest Torres outside of court that Hatch could not go into detail about how the show was run.

Hatch could however talk about any promises that led him to believe the producers would pay his tax, said Mr Minns.

But Hatch did not give any details and the show's producer was not asked about the alleged deal.

Hatch is serving his sentence in a federal prison in West Virginia.

The trial judge initially planned a shorter sentence, but increased it by several months because he believed Hatch had lied when giving evidence.

He is scheduled to be released in October 2009.

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