Richard Hatch Appeals January Convictions, Claims Conspiracyby David Bloomberg -- 12/08/2006
In January, original Survivor winner Richard Hatch was convicted of various charges, including failure to pay taxes on his Survivor prize and other income (remember that “other income” part – it’s important). He’s been in jail for a while now, but he’s still trying to get out.
On Thursday, Hatch’s attorney filed an appeal of his conviction. Why? Because the judge wouldn’t let Hatch expound on his conspiracy claims about the show.
As you may recall, during a break in Hatch’s testimony at the original trial, his attorney told the judge that Hatch would testify about having supposedly caught other players trying to cheat by having their friends sneak in food. As a result, the producers supposedly promised to pay his taxes if he won. Alas, we never got to hear the rest of this surely-entertaining story, because Hatch did not talk about it while on the stand. At the time, I thought he and his attorney had simply realized how ridiculous it sounded and decided to go in a different direction. But now the attorney is saying the judge specifically prohibited it.
Specifically, the attorney supposedly began asking Hatch about problems with the show’s production, including that it almost broke down a few times and something about Hatch being injured while fishing. The judge cut off this line of questioning, saying that he could introduce evidence about why Hatch supposedly thought the producers would pay his taxes, but he could not focus on how the show was filmed. The appeal claims, “The excluded testimony eviscerated Hatch's defense that he had reason to believe the taxes had been paid.”
I have to say, I’m not sure how. I mean, if the judge would have allowed testimony about why Hatch believed the producers would pay his taxes, then his attorney should have focused on that – on the specific issue of supposed cheating – not on Hatch getting injured or production difficulties. It sounds to me like, if anything, Hatch’s attorney screwed up.
Mind you, I still don’t believe the nonsense about food smuggling, nor about any deal that was supposedly reached. If his claims are true, why did he wait for his trial to make the claim? Why not talk about it when he was first charged? Or when he first found out the taxes had not been paid? It makes no sense.
Furthermore, remember what I said at the beginning of this article? Hatch was not only convicted of failing to pay his Survivor taxes, but taxes on other income as well. Is Hatch going to claim CBS was supposed to pay all of his income taxes for a few years? After all, the appeal is seeking to have all of his convictions overturned, not just the one stemming from his Survivor winnings.
As we’ve seen over the course of the Hatch trial, his claims simply do not stand up to scrutiny. He should be happy he wasn’t convicted on all charges, including the ones about him allegedly stealing from the charity he set up. I suppose he needs to find some way to file an appeal, but basing it on this conspiracy claim just makes him look desperate. He’s in jail, and he’ll be staying there.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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