Richard Hatch, who won $1 million and a $27,000 Pontiac on Survivor in 2000 and is currently appearing in Bravo's Battle of the Network Reality Stars, has been accused of tax evasion, filing a false return, and several counts of fraud.
Reuters is reporting that Hatch failed to mention his Survivor winnings on that year's tax return, reporting only a $41,000 income and claiming that he was owed a refund of nearly $4,500. He is also accused of failing to report almost $400,000 in other income, including $36,500 that was donated to the charity Horizon Bound and that Hatch allegedly used for his own purposes.
Though Hatch accepted a January plea bargain on two counts of tax evasion, he later changed his mind and withdrew the plea. The grand jury investigation that followed his decision led to the array of charges now stacked against him, which could carry a maximum sentence of 73 years in prison and a $1.35 million fine.
The Associated Press reports that Hatch was under the impression that CBS would be responsible for the taxes on his Survivor winnings, but that the network insists this is not the case.
Hatch has encountered legal trouble in the past, including a charge of child abuse that was eventually dropped and an assault conviction that was later overturned.
The 11th season of Survivor, which is set in Guatemala, premieres on CBS Thursday, September 15, at 8:00 P.M.