- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Reality TV star Richard Hatch presented himself to U.S. marshals in Rhode Island on Monday to begin a nine-month prison sentence for failing to pay taxes on the $1 million he won on first season of the CBS show “Survivor.”

Hatch arrived at U.S. District Court in Providence just after noon, wearing a blue sweatsuit. He told reporters outside the courthouse that he is innocent. He has appealed his case to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

“I hope I’m released soon,” Hatch said, “but this system is not effective in dealing with the truth. As always, I’ll comply with whatever I’m asked to do and continue my pursuit of exoneration.”

Hatch lives in Newport, R.I., and currently is appearing on NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice.” He spent three years in prison for tax evasion before being released in 2009 and was serving a three-year term of supervised release. During that period, he was supposed to refile his 2000 and 2001 income tax returns and pay what he owed, but he never did.

U.S. District Court Judge William Smith ordered Hatch back to prison last week. During that hearing, Hatch said he was working with an accountant to determine from the IRS what he still owed.

On Monday morning, Judge Smith denied Hatch’s request for more time before beginning his sentence.

Hatch now owes an estimated $2 million to the IRS, a figure that includes taxes on his “Survivor” winnings and penalties.


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