Greg Mortenson Three Cups of Tea Books
Greg Mortenson signing books in a bookstore. In 2011, 60 Minutes and Jon Krakauer aired and published reports showing that Three Cups of Tea contained numerous fabrications. (Photo: Paulsims/Flickr)

Greg Mortenson Fraud Claim Rejected

Appeals court upholds ruling that evidence is “flimsy and speculative”

Greg Mortenson Three Cups of Tea Books

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A federal appeals court panel has rejected a claim that fabrications in Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools constituted fraud against purchasers of the books and against people who donated money to the charitable organization Mortenson founded, the Central Asia Institute, the Associated Press reports.

The ruling, made on October 9, upheld an earlier ruling by Sam E. Haddon, a federal judge in Montana who had reviewed the claim and called the charges “flimsy and speculative.” The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Haddon on all points, citing plaintiffs’ failure “to specify with requisite particularity the Defendants’ individual roles in the alleged racketeering scheme.”

The suit was directed at Mortenson, his late co-author David Oliver Relin (who comitted suicide last year in Oregon), CAI, and Penguin Publishing. 

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