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Richard Hatch begs for $300,000 to pay tax debt

"Survivor" winner Richard Hatch on "The Celebrity Apprentice."
"Survivor" winner Richard Hatch on "The Celebrity Apprentice."

(CBS) It may be a little too late to suck up to Donald Trump but the first "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch is desperate.

The "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant reportedly needs $300,000 by April 10 to pay off his long-standing tax debt.

Pictures: "Survivor: Fiji"
Pictures: "Celebrity Apprentice"
Pictures: Stars with tax problems

While Hatch was in custody waiting to serve the rest of his sentence for not paying taxes on his $1 million "Survivor" prize, he wrote an open letter to the public, obtained by TMZ, stating, "I can prove my innocence if someone will loan me three hundred thousand dollars."

He continued, "I have until April 10, 2011, to pay the Malaysian government the tax they are due for the work I did on 'Survivor' ten years ago, taxes the producers of 'Survivor' and CBS Television were legally required to pay to the Malaysian Revenue Board."

He did not explain, and it wasn't immediately apparent, how this payment to Malaysia would resolve the tax problems he has in the U.S.

Should Hatch find the money to pay back his taxes, he said he plans to sue "Survivor" creator Mark Burnett and other CBS employees associated with the show for the "years of torment and financial devastation I have incurred as a result of their improper actions."

Hatch also claims that the IRS and the government "have very effectively exploited my notoriety to their ends and I have been powerless to stop them" from using him as an example of what happens when you fail to pay your taxes.

Hatch spent three years in prison for tax evasion before being released in 2009 for a three-year term of supervised release. During that period, he was supposed to refile his 2000 and 2001 taxes and pay what he owed, but he never did.

U.S. District Court Judge William Smith ordered Hatch back to prison for nine months last month for violating the terms of his release. Hatch claimed he was working with an accountant to determine from the IRS what he still owed.

Hatch now owes an estimated $2 million to the IRS, a figure that includes taxes on his $1 million "Survivor" winnings and penalties.

If he was hoping to win big on "Celebrity Apprentice," that hope has been dashed. Though the show was taped last year, Hatch was "fired" in the episode shown Sunday.

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