Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Settlement results in $3.2 million check for Alan Gross

Settlement results in $3.2 million check for Alan Gross
12/23/2014 7:00 AM 12/23/2014 10:05 PM

The U.S. Agency for International Development and Development
Alternatives Inc. finalized a settlement this week for claims related to
USAID subcontractor Alan Gross, who was released from a Cuban prison
last week.

Development Alternatives is the Maryland-based international development
firm that subcontracted a USAID pro-democracy program to Gross to
introduce satellite communications equipment into Cuba.

The amount of the settlement wasn't disclosed but CNN reported that as
part of it, Gross was to be paid $3.2 million.

Gross was arrested Dec. 3, 2009, and held in Cuba until last Wednesday
when the Cubans released him as a humanitarian gesture. His release, as
well as the swap of a CIA agent held in Cuba for three Cuban spies
imprisoned in the United States, paved the way for a historic agreement
that will restore diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United

USAID said the settlement resolves unanticipated claims pending before
the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals under a cost-reimbursement
contract and included claims related to Gross, who had served five years
of a 15-year sentence at the time of his release.

The U.S. government has maintained that Gross was simply providing
Internet access for the Jewish community in Cuba but the Cuban
government said he was convicted for "illegally and covertly introducing
… communications equipment meant only for military purposes."

The Grosses filed a $60 million negligence suit in U.S. District Court
in the District of Columbia against both DAI and the federal government,
alleging they had failed to adequately train and prepare him for the
risks he would face in Cuba.

DAI earlier settled with the Grosses for an undisclosed amount but a
judge dismissed the case against the government, saying it was immune
from any claim arising in a foreign country.

USAID said the settlement with DAI, which was announced Tuesday, "avoids
the cost, delay and risks of further proceedings, and does not
constitute an admission of liability by either party."

Source: Settlement results in $3.2 million check for Alan Gross | The
Miami Herald -

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