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Former Navy SEAL to Pay Feds $6.6 Million Over Book That Violated Non-Disclosure Agreements

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Matt Bissonnette, who wrote "No Easy Day" under the pseudonym Mark Owen, will give the U.S. government all profits and royalties from the book or movie rights.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The former Navy SEAL who wrote a book about his role in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden will pay the government more than $6.6 million for violating non-disclosure agreements and publishing without getting the document cleared by the Defense Department, according to federal court documents.

Matt Bissonnette, who wrote "No Easy Day" under the pseudonym Mark Owen, will give the U.S. government all profits and royalties from the book or movie rights. The proceeds already total more than $6.6 million. He will have four years to pay the bulk of that.

This book cover image released by Dutton shows "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden," by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer.  A first-hand account of the Navy SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden is coming out Sept. 11.  Dutton announced Wednesday that Mark Owen s  No Easy Day  will  set the record straight  on the raid in Pakistan in May 2011.  Mark Owen  is a pseudonym for the combat veteran who was one of the first fighters to enter bin Laden s third floor hideout and also witnessed his death, according to Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA). (AP Photo/Dutton) AP Photo/Dutton

The payments were outlined in settlement documents filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia.

According to the settlement, Bissonnette also has 30 days to pay $100,000 from the proceeds of presentations he gave using slides that were not approved by the department.

The book triggered a Justice Department probe, including claims it contained classified material. Bissonnette had signed non-disclosure agreements during his service as a SEAL, and he took part in a number of highly secret operations including the bin Laden raid.

Under the agreement, Bissonnette said he would acknowledge he made a mistake by failing to submit the book for pre-publication review. And in exchange for the payments, the U.S. government has dismissed other liability claims.

Justice Department spokeswoman Nicole Navas said the agreement doesn't discredit Bissonnette's military service, but reinforces that service members comply with the non-disclosure documents they sign.

Bissonnette has written a follow-up — also under the name Owen — detailing his journey as a member of SEAL Team Six. That book, "No Hero: the Evolution of a Navy SEAL," did go through the proper channels and a few sections were redacted.

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