Fraud Friday: Survivor - Spidell

Fraud Friday: Survivor

Back when reality TV was in its infancy, Richard Hatch, winner of the first season of “Survivor,” served two jail terms for failing to file amended returns to pay the tax owed on the $1 million he won on “Survivor.” The first accounting firm Hatch hired to prepare his 2001 tax return calculated that he owed $441,501 in taxes, but he never filed the return. He went to a second preparer who came up with about half the amount owed, but Hatch didn’t file that return, either. That second firm then prepared an “informational” return that didn’t include the winnings at all, but warned Hatch not to file it. Of course, he immediately did. He served a total of 51 months in federal prison. (

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