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Ben-Menashe said at the time that he would receive payment once sanctions were lifted. By working with Myanmar's military, he risked violating US sanctions imposed on top generals, legal experts said.

Sanctions on military leaders were already in place, but Washington has ramped up measures against them and military companies as Myanmar's security forces have responded to protests with a brutal crackdown.

On Wednesday, Ben-Menashe said by phone he remained on good terms with Myanmar's generals but his work was "on a break" because he was unable to receive payment due to the sanctions.

Ben-Menashe said he informed the military leaders of the stoppage last month. It was first reported by Foreign Lobby Report on Tuesday.

"We can't get paid. It’s getting very expensive," Ben-Menashe said.

During his time working for the generals, Ben-Menashe helped arrange a visit of a CNN reporter to Myanmar. He declined to go into detail about his other work for the generals, aside from describing it as "humanitarian."

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