Obama donated part of Nobel Prize money to allegedly fraudulent ‘Three Cups of Tea’ charity

Even more damning than the charges of literary fabrication against "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortensen may be the accusations of fraud against his charity, the Central Asia Institute: Reporters for CBS’s 60 Minutes programme visited almost 30 of the schools and claimed that roughly half were empty, built by someone else or not ...

Even more damning than the charges of literary fabrication against "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortensen may be the accusations of fraud against his charity, the Central Asia Institute:

Reporters for CBS's 60 Minutes programme visited almost 30 of the schools and claimed that roughly half were empty, built by someone else or not receiving any support. The programme alleged that Mortenson's charity, Central Asia Institute (CAI), spent more on book promotion and publicity than on building schools. Mortenson took private jets to events where he was paid $30,000 to speak, according to the programme, and former associates accused him of using CAI as his own "private ATM".

One of the funders of CAI who may now be wondering where his money went is President Obama. Last year, the president donated $100,000 out of his $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize winnings to the Bozeman, Montana-based charity. It was one of the 10 U.S.-based organizations the president chose because of their "extraordinary work in the United States and abroad helping students, veterans and countless others in need."

Even more damning than the charges of literary fabrication against "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortensen may be the accusations of fraud against his charity, the Central Asia Institute:

Reporters for CBS’s 60 Minutes programme visited almost 30 of the schools and claimed that roughly half were empty, built by someone else or not receiving any support. The programme alleged that Mortenson’s charity, Central Asia Institute (CAI), spent more on book promotion and publicity than on building schools. Mortenson took private jets to events where he was paid $30,000 to speak, according to the programme, and former associates accused him of using CAI as his own "private ATM".

One of the funders of CAI who may now be wondering where his money went is President Obama. Last year, the president donated $100,000 out of his $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize winnings to the Bozeman, Montana-based charity. It was one of the 10 U.S.-based organizations the president chose because of their "extraordinary work in the United States and abroad helping students, veterans and countless others in need."

The institute was founded in 1996 with a $1 million donation from the Swiss physicist and microchip pioneer Jean Hoerni. Hoerni passed away a year later but I’m guessing his estate will also want to have some words with Mortensen.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

More from Foreign Policy

Oleg Salyukov salutes to soldiers during Russia’s Victory Day parade.
Oleg Salyukov salutes to soldiers during Russia’s Victory Day parade.

Stop Falling for Russia’s Delusions of Perpetual Victory

The best sources on the war are the Ukrainians on the ground.

A fire rages at the Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces in Tver, Russia
A fire rages at the Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces in Tver, Russia

Could Sabotage Stop Putin From Using the Nuclear Option?

If the West is behind mysterious fires in Russia, the ongoing—but deniable—threat could deter Putin from escalating.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is received by his Kenyan counterpart, Raychelle Omamo, in Mombasa, Kenya.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is received by his Kenyan counterpart, Raychelle Omamo, in Mombasa, Kenya.

While America Slept, China Became Indispensable

Washington has long ignored much of the world. Beijing hasn’t.

A bulldozer demolishes an illegal structure during a joint anti-encroachment drive conducted by North Delhi Municipal Corporation
A bulldozer demolishes an illegal structure during a joint anti-encroachment drive conducted by North Delhi Municipal Corporation

The World Ignored Russia’s Delusions. It Shouldn’t Make the Same Mistake With India.

Hindu nationalist ideologues in New Delhi are flirting with a dangerous revisionist history of South Asia.