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Fraud and racketeering claims dismissed against author

Greg Mortenson, the author of “Three Cups of Tea,” had been facing claims of fraud and racketeering. The heart of the claims was that the best-selling book about Mortenson’s travels in the remote mountains of Pakistan contained lies for the financial benefit of its author.

The book was published in 2006 and was intended to help raise funds for the Central Asia Institute, which was established by the author in 1996 to build schools in Central Asia. Since the book was published, the author has engaged in hundreds of speaking engagements promoting the book. He has been able to raise tens of millions of dollars for his charity.

However, authorities alleged that the author fabricated parts of the book in order to emerge a hero and so that people would be more likely to donate to his charity.

Earlier in April, the state attorney general reached a $1 million settlement agreement concerning the management of the funds. Now, the author will no longer be able to oversee the charity’s finances pursuant to a change in the structure of the charity’s structure. The state investigation was specifically concerned with the financial affairs of the charity.

Now, a federal judge has recently dismissed claims of fraud brought by four people who purchased copies of “Three Cups of Tea” because they were “imprecise, flimsy and speculative.” The judge explained that the Mortenson’s role in the alleged fraud was never explicitly identified.

This case is a good example for Nevada residents of how fraud accusations can take many forms. Though this case never resolved the question as to whether this book was accurate or fabricated, it is an important reminder that anytime fraud charges are made it can stain the person’s reputation, whether those claims have merit or not.

Source: Fox News, “APNewsBreak: ‘Three Cups’ author lawsuit rejected,” April 30, 2012

John P. Aldrich
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