Three Cups of Tea Author Must Repay $1M to Charity

But Greg Mortenson will remain its public face
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 5, 2012 6:04 PM CDT
Three Cups of Tea Author Must Repay $1M to Charity
This undated file photo provided by New Mark Communications via the St. Paul Pioneer Press shows Greg Mortenson.   (AP Photo/New Mark Communications via the St. Paul Paul Pioneer Press, File)

Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson will remain the face of the charity he co-founded, despite his having to repay $1 million after an investigative report released today concluded he mismanaged the organization and misspent its money. Central Asia Institute chief Anne Beyersdorfer said Mortenson will continue to draw a salary from the charity. But it won't be as executive director, and he is barred from being a voting member of the board of directors.

He will, however, continue to represent the organization in speaking engagements and work to build relationships in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the charity builds schools and promotes education. A yearlong investigation by the Montana attorney general found that Mortenson exerted tremendous control over the charity as tens of millions in donations poured in after the 2006 release of Three Cups of Tea. The best-seller and a later book by Mortenson, Stones Into Schools, came under scrutiny last year when reports by 60 Minutes and author Jon Krakauer alleged the CAI co-founder fabricated parts of both and that he benefited financially from the charity. The attorney general's probe focused only on the charity's operations, and did not examine the books' contents. (More Greg Mortenson stories.)

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