Up the Hatch
How important is it to pay your taxes? Pretty important, I’d say. Especially when failure to comply can result in more time in jail than if you shot two people in the head and killed them in cold blood.
Richard Hatch, the original winner of the TV series Survivor is back in trouble for his taxes. He turned himself in to authorities on Monday and will begin serving a nine-month sentence for violating the terms of his probation for tax evasion.
Hatch previously served a three year sentence for tax evasion. He was ordered to pay taxes on show winnings and other income but has not completed refiling of his 2000 and 2001 tax returns.
I didn’t know this, but Hatch was currently a contestant on Donald Trump’s reality show The Apprentice.
The Donald has said he would consider helping Hatch pay his debt.
“It sounds like a very tough predicament,” Donald Trump tells PEOPLE. “I may ask him if there’s anything I can do … I may get involved and ask him what the hell is going on.”
On the current season of Apprentice, Hatch quickly made enemies of Jose Canseco and David Cassidy, who accused the reality star of shoving him. Cassidy was ultimately fired.”He wasn’t loved on set because it’s a competition but I will say he was respected,” Trump said, adding that helping Hatch pay his debt is “something I’d think about. He’s been a great character on the show.” Source.
The judge surprised even the prosecutors by adding an additional three months to Hatch’s sentence beyond the six month maximum per federal sentencing guidelines.
The IRS says Hatch owes $2 million.
Hatch will now have to pay a staggering $2 million to the IRS.
The debt includes not only his Survivor winnings, but further income he has made since appearing on the show and penalties for his evasion. Source.
Times are apparently hard for Hatch, who told the court that he’s only made about $27,000 since his release from prison in October 2009, which would put him even below my scrawny income. Hatch has been looking for work though, claiming he pursued employment in “marketing” to working on a fishing boat.
Personally, I think the judge should have been a bit more lenient. It’s not like Hatch plugged two people full of lead. If that was all he done he would have already been off probation by now.
Killing time with some random ponderings
Is justice blind? Sometimes it sure feels like it. For my random thought today I’d like to compare two different criminal cases to illustrate the disparate dispensation of justice. The cases occurred about 22 years apart but I feel they still offer a disturbing example of inconsistent justice.
Dan White, Supervisor
If you’ve seen the movie Milk you may already know some of this. In 1978 San Fransisco former Supervisor Dan White killed Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. White entered city hall through a first-floor window to avoid newly installed metal detectors while carrying a loaded gun and 10 rounds of ammunition, then gained entry to the Mayor’s office where an argument ensured. White shot and killed Moscone using four bullets. White then reloaded his gun and walked down the hall to Milk’s office and shot and killed Milk using five bullets.
For the cold-blooded and premeditated murder of two men White served less than two years of a five-year sentence.
Richard Hatch, TV game show contestant
The first season of the reality TV show Survivor was held in 2000 in Borneo and was won by a contestant named Richard Hatch. His prize for winning the game was $1 million.
After becoming the sole survivor Hatch failed to report his winnings on his federal tax returns. In addition to the $1 million he also failed to report $10,000 for a reunion show, $321,000 for appearances on a radio program, an automobile he won on Survivor, and rental income from properties he owned.
In 2006 a jury found Hatch guilty of tax evasion. He faced up to 13 years in prison.
For tax evasion Hatch was sentenced to 51 months (4 years, 3 months) in prison and three additional years of probation. He served over three years of that sentence before being released.
I find the comparison in sentences between White and Hatch very incredible. The killing of two human beings resulted in less than two years in prison while cheating on taxes resulted in over three.
Today’s random Wikipedia page is actually fairly interesting. It’s about Maski, an archeological site in India.