Sunday, April 29, 2012
Earlier this month, Montana Attorney General announced that his office had reached a settled with the section 501(c)(3) Central Asia Institute and its founder, author Greg Mortenson, after allegations arose regarding the accuracy of reports regarding the Institute's work (see, e.g., the 60 Minutes segment reported on by the NY Times/AP). According the AG's announcement, he concluded "that CAI’s board of directors failed to fulfill some of their responsibilities as board members of a nonprofit charity. Further, Mortenson failed to fulfill some of his responsibilities as executive director and as an officer and director of the organization." In the settlement agreement, Mortenson, who co-authored "Three Cups of Tea" and "Stones into Schools" about the Institute's accomplishments, agreed to repay over $1 million to the Institute and not sit on the Institute's board as long as he remains an Institute employee. A new board of at least seven members will be appointed during a 12-month transition period.
In related news, the Christian Science Monitor reports that Mortenson and the Institute also face a civil lawsuit from four individuals claiming that they were mislead by allegedly false accounts in his books. The readers claim they bought the books and donated to the Institute based on the stories of the Institute's work related in the books.