Richard Hatch, the first-season winner of Survivor, has requested an early release from his in-home jail sentence for tax evasion so he can rejoin the show and win enough to pay back the IRS, but the judge said no.
Hatch, who collected the TV series first million-dollar prize, was convicted in January 2006 on three counts of tax evasion for failing to pay taxes on his $1 million winnings and about $400,000 in income from hosting a radio show and rental earnings (see Survivor Found Guilty of Tax Fraud). He was sentenced to 51 months in prison in July 2006.
After serving the first three years in federal prison, Hatch is currently spending the remaining months confined to his home in Newport, R.I. However, he asked a federal appeals court to allow him to join a 10th anniversary edition of Survivor in Samoa for seven weeks starting next month. He hopes to win the reality show competition again so he can pay the $400,000 he still owes the IRS.
Federal prosecutors filed an objection with the court warning that Hatch may flee the country, and Judge William Smith denied Hatchs request Friday. In April, the court also refused a request from Hatch to move to Argentina.
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