MISSOULA, Mont., April 5 (Reuters) - “Three Cups of Tea” author Greg Mortenson has agreed to pay $1 million to compensate his Montana-based charity to settle accusations he used the non-profit to promote and buy copies of his book, a report from the state attorney general said on Thursday.
The office of Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock said its investigation, launched in April 2011 in the wake of a “60 Minutes” report, found the Central Asia Institute spent about $3.96 million since 2006 to buy copies of “Three Cups of Tea.”
The purchases generated royalties for Mortenson, and although he had agreed to provide a contribution to the Central Asia Institute equal to the amount of royalty payments he received from book purchases, he had not done so as of April 2011, the attorney general report found.
Bullock has authority under state law to oversee and regulate charities.
The report from Bullock said his office did not probe allegations of fabrications or narratives in Mortenson’s book that were raised by the “60 Minutes” piece.
The book describes Mortenson’s unsuccessful attempt to climb K2 in South Asia and his encounter with impoverished Pakistani villagers who he said inspired him to build schools and other projects in the region. (Reporting by Lori Grannis and Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Philip Barbara)