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Virginia federal judge orders Edward Snowden to pay US nearly $5.2 million made from published book

A Virginia federal judge ordered American whistleblower Edward Snowden to pay back the U.S. nearly $5.2 million.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2013 file image made from video and released by WikiLeaks, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks in Moscow.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ordered former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to turn over profits made from his published book "Permanent Record."

A Virginia federal judge on Tuesday said Snowden must pay back the U.S. nearly $5.2 million.

The court also imposed a constructive trust for the benefit of the United States over those sums and any other money or royalties earned from the book.

The United States filed a lawsuit in September 2019 against Snowden. The lawsuit alleged Snowden's book violated a non-disclosure agreement he signed with Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency.

"Edward Snowden violated his legal obligations to the United States, and therefore, his unlawful financial gains must be relinquished to the government,” said Jeffrey A. Rosen, Deputy Attorney General of the United States, in a news release. 

"As this case demonstrates, the Department of Justice will not overlook the wrongful actions of those who seek to betray the trust reposed in them and to personally profit from their access to classified national security information.”

The lawsuit claimed that Snowden published his book without submitting it to the agencies before it was published to the general public.

Snowden also gave public speeches on intelligence matters, which "violated his non-disclosure agreements."

This lawsuit is separate from the criminal charges brought against Snowden for his alleged disclosures of classified information.