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Contractor Freed By Cuba Will Get $3.2M From U.S.

Alan Gross pauses during a news conference at his lawyer's office in Washington on Dec. 17. The federal government will pay him $3.2 million as part of a settlement with the company that employed Gross when he was arrested in Cuba in 2009. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Alan Gross pauses during a news conference at his lawyer's office in Washington on Dec. 17. The federal government will pay him $3.2 million as part of a settlement with the company that employed Gross when he was arrested in Cuba in 2009.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Alan Gross, the former USAID subcontractor who spent five years in a Cuban prison before his release last week, will get $3.2 million from the federal government, part of a settlement with the Maryland-based company for which he worked at the time of his arrest.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, in a statement, said it had finalized a settlement, agreed to in principle in November, with Development Alternatives, Inc.

"The settlement ... calls for payment by USAID for unanticipated claims under the cost-reimbursement contract, including claims related to Mr. Alan Gross," the statement said. " The settlement avoids the cost, delay and risks of further proceedings, and does not constitute an admission of liability by either party."

A USAID official said Gross will receive $3.2 million.

Gross and his wife had sued the federal government and DAI for gross negligence last year, but a federal judge rejected that claim. The decision was upheld last month on appeal.

As we've previously reported, Gross had been working on a program to improve Internet access for Jewish Cubans. During several trips to Cuba he had covertly distributed laptops. He was arrested in 2009, found guilty by a Cuban court of crimes against the state in 2011 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

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The Cuban government announced Dec. 17 that it would free Gross, who had been suffering from poor health, as a humanitarian gesture. That move, along with an exchange of jailed spies, was part of an announcement by the U.S. and Cuba to normalize relations after more than five decades.