Richard Hatch Makes Online Plea: ‘Gimme $300K!’

Imprisoned former “Survivor” contestant asks the public for big bucks to clear his name

Richard Hatch is an innocent man, and he can prove it — if only someone can loan him a few hundred grand.

The legally troubled former "Survivor" and "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant, who entered prison last month to serve yet another sentence on tax-related charges, has issued an open letter to anyone who'll listen, proclaiming that he's been wrongfully convicted.

Oh, and he wants someone to let him borrow $300,000 so he can crawl out from under his tax debt and and begin his crusade for the truth.

"I can prove my innocence if someone will loan me three hundred thousand dollars," Hatch writes in his letter, posted on a friend's blog

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 producer’s [sic] of 'Survivor' and CBS Television were legally required to pay to the Malaysian Revenue Board. If it takes the rest of my life, I will pay the money back to you with interest, and gratitude."

Which should be quite the feat for Hatch, who has a habit of mismanaging his finances.

Hatch, who won the first American edition of the reality competition way back in 2000, was imprisoned in 2006, after being convicted of failing to report his "Survivor" winnings, along with other income, to the IRS.

He was released to home confinement in May 2009, but was quickly arrested again for granting unauthorized interviews.

In January, Hatch became ensnared in the legal system once again, for failing to file income-tax returns, and he was sentenced to nine months' incarceration, followed by supervised release.

Hatch maintains that he needs the $300K loan to obtain a foreign tax credit –  the key, apparently, to gaining his freedom and clearing his name. And he needs it ASAP, because the statute of limitations for him to file for a tax credit expires April 15.

Perhaps there's a Nigerian prince who can help Hatch out — his plea certainly sounds like something that winds up in your spam folder.

CBS denies any responsibility for Hatch's legal woes, telling TheWrap, “Whatever Mr. Hatch’s tax problems may be, there is no merit whatsoever to his allegations against CBS.”