Richard Hatch gets stiff sentence

May 16, 2006 at 2:48 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I., May 16 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Providence, R.I., Tuesday sentenced "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch to 51 months in prison for tax evasion and perjury.

In handing down the harsh sentence, U.S. District Chief Judge Ernest C. Torres berated Hatch, 45, for obstructing justice by lying "repeatedly," the Providence (R.I.) Journal reported.

Hatch, handcuffed and shackled, denied committing perjury, telling the judge: "I believe I've been completely truthful and completely forthcoming throughout the entire process."

The judge said the winner of CBS' inaugural "Survivor" competition was "in denial" and also ordered him to undergo counseling.

"I can't tell whether you've convinced yourself that some of these things are true that you've fabricated," Torres said.

Hatch was convicted by a federal jury Jan. 25 of two counts of tax evasion and one count of filing a false income tax return. Among the income he failed to declare was the $1 million "Survivor" grand prize and a Pontiac Aztec he won on the show.

One of Hatch's lawyers said an appeal is already under way.

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