Cambodian partner steals Angelina Jolie's aid money

An associate of Angelina Jolie has said a lawsuit may be filed on behalf of the Hollywood actress against the head of a Cambodian aid group she alleges misappropriated her donations.

"We are considering filing a lawsuit to recover the hundreds of thousands of dollars that is missing and which he was responsible for," Trevor Neilson, who is the philanthropic and political advisor for Jolie and partner Brad Pitt, told The Associated Press in New York Monday.

Neilson was referring to Mounh Sarath, director of Cambodian Vision in Development, to whom Jolie once gave funds for conservation and community development work in Cambodia.

"We have specific evidence (of) him having taken the money, and we are considering whether to file a lawsuit or press charges against him in Cambodia," he said.

Neilson was responding to Mounh Sarath's allegations that Joile had reneged on an agreement by stopping funds for his group.

Jolie has set up an independent Cambodian organization to administer a conservation project for remote northwestern areas of Cambodia, the director of the new group said Monday, reports AP.

Jolie terminated the contract with Cambodian Vision in Development and the U.S. conservation group WildAid, which had co-managed the project, in December, said Stephan Bognar, executive director of the Maddox Jolie Project. The new group is named for Jolie's 5-year-old son Maddox, who was adopted from Cambodia in 2002.

The 31-year-old actress has promised up to US$1.3 million (Ђ1.02 million) over five years for the forest conservation program, which was approved by the Cambodia government in 2003.

Neilson denied the actress had broken any agreement with Mounh Sarath.

"The sad reality is that this person who made these allegations was fired because we believe (he) stole" Jolie's donations, he said. He did not elaborate or indicate when the lawsuit would be filed.

On Tuesday, Mounh Sarath denied the allegations and said he is "happily" ready to confront any legal actions from Jolie.

"I will fight any lawsuit to find out the truth and to see if they have any documented proof of the money stolen," he said.

Scenes for Jolie's 2001 movie, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," were filmed at Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat temple.

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