August 23, 2011 at 12:14 PM CDT - Updated June 25 at 5:14 AM
By LAURA CRIMALDI Associated Press
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Richard Hatch, the winner of the first season of "Survivor," is claiming he's "destitute" as he seeks a court-appointed lawyer to help him appeal a nine-month sentence for failing to settle his tax bill in his tax-evasion case.
Filings in U.S. District Court in Providence made public last week show Richard Hatch believes he should be given free legal representation to fight the prison sentence handed down in March.
Hatch, 50, of Newport, had been returned to prison for violating terms of his release from prison for failing to pay taxes on his $1 million winnings from the CBS reality show.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond is recommending Hatch be denied free legal counsel. He says the appeal is not "taken in good faith."
Hatch is appealing to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. The federal court in Rhode Island, however, is expected to rule on whether Hatch is entitled to free legal representation.
In his handwritten court filing, Hatch says he is "financially destitute" and rejects assertions that his appeal is not in good faith and his own issues frivolous.
Hatch also claims the Internal Revenue Service has yet to inform him how much he owes on his winnings from 10 years ago.
He also says he has new evidence indicating the taxes are due to the government of Malaysia, where the first season was filmed, and not to the United States. He says the U.S. Tax Court is reviewing that development.
Hatch spent more than three years in prison for not paying taxes on "Survivor" winnings. He was released in 2009 and ordered to refile his 2000 and 2001 taxes and pay what he owed. Smith ruled he never did and returned him to prison.
Hatch is behind bars at FCI-Morgantown in West Virginia. He is expected to be released in December.
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