The first million-dollar winner of Survivor – and convicted tax evader – Richard Hatch has asked a federal judge to let him leave the country. Hatch, who was convicted in 2006 of tax evasion charges, is serving the end of his sentence at home in Rhode Island. That creates a problem for his plans to return to Survivor next month for the tenth anniversary season, filmed in Samoa.

Hatch claims that he could use the money he wins from the show to pay off the rest of his debt, which feds put at $400,000. Clearly, he doesn’t remember his stints on Survivor All-Stars, Dog Eat Dog, or The Weakest Link – all of which saw Hatch exit early.

As you can imagine, the feds aren’t excited about granting Hatch permission to leave the country before completing his sentence or paying off his debt. Hatch’s prior requests – for just about anything and everything – have been turned down. This may be his first win yet.

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Kelly Phillips Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer, and podcaster.


  1. I don’t always like the “rules” of society either, but I wear clothing in public and I pay my taxes. I know that sort of behavior greatly ruduces my chances of ever being a “reality” show star–err, wait, I win!

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