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'Survivor' Winner Richard Hatch Appeals Convictions

"Survivor" winner Richard Hatch, who is serving more than four years in prison for failing to pay taxes on his $1 million prize, appealed his convictions Thursday.

In the appeal, filed in 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, Hatch contends the judge prevented him from arguing that the show's producers struck a deal with him to pay his taxes if he won.

Hatch, of Newport, maintains the deal was struck after he caught the producers cheating — smuggling food to other contestants during taping of the debut season of the CBS reality TV show.

The evidence would have explained why Hatch believed the taxes had already been paid and would have shown that he did not willfully break the law, according to the appeal.

CBS spokesman Chris Ender said Thursday that Hatch's claim had no merit.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said the government would file a reply brief in the coming weeks.

Hatch was convicted last January of failing to pay taxes on his "Survivor" prize and other income. The appeal seeks to have all the convictions overturned.