Friday, May 6, 2011

Michele Reinhart part of lawsuit filed against author Mortenson

Posted By on Fri, May 6, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Two Montana residents filed a lawsuit yesterday against best-selling author, philanthropist and "60 Minutes" target Greg Mortenson. One of the residents is Missoula Rep. Michele Reinhart.

You can view a copy of the complaint here (PDF).

The AP reports:

The lawsuit by Michele Reinhart of Missoula and Jena Price of Great Falls claims Mortenson and CAI [his nonprofit, Central Asia Institute] committed fraud by inducing them to donate and buy his book.

They are asking a federal judge to certify their complaint as a class-action lawsuit that could potentially be joined by millions of people.

Mortenson was the subject of a "60 Minutes" expose last month that revealed alleged lies and embellishments in his best-selling books, including Three Cups of Tea. It also questioned how Mortenson runs his nonprofit's finances and whether it overstates how many schools its built in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock is already investigating Mortenson and CAI.

“It is apparent that the only way the children in Afghanistan and Pakistan are going to receive the schools promised to them is through this class action. Otherwise Mortenson and his organization will get away with this sham,” said attorney Alexander Blewett III in a statement. “We welcome the opportunity for Greg Mortenson to testify under oath as to the veracity of what he has said.”

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