From Royalties to Forfeitures

9780525953722It may not pay to avoid the rules. On the other hand, if books sales are the measure, maybe it does.

According to the NYT, Mark Owen, a pen name for the former Navy SEAL who wrote No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden (Penguin/Dutton, 2012), has agreed to forfeit close to 7 million dollars for failing to clear his book with the Pentagon as well as several other infractions that raised questions surrounding the possible disclosure of classified information.

The NYT reports that this outcome is a result of a Justice Department investigation and that the department decided not to press charges but settle instead for the cash returns.

In a statement Owen said, “I acknowledge my mistake and have paid a stiff price, both personally and financially, for that error … I accept responsibility for failing to submit the book for review and apologize sincerely for my oversight.”

The renewed attention is helping book sales, the title rose on Amazon, jumping up from #466 to #160.

Owen has already faced stiff criticism from some of his fellow SEALS and others in the special operations community for what was seen as cashing in on his duty. 60 Minutes reported on the story at the time and interviewed Owen.

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