News: Wyclef Jean Catches Heat Over Charity Spending, "1 Million Was Paid To A Florida Firm That Doesn't Seem To Exist"
Monday, Nov 28, 2011 12:05PM
Fugees leader Wyclef Jean is making headlines this week in light of reports claiming that he embezzled a portion of the $16 million raised for Haiti earthquake relief efforts.
Reports claim Jean's non-profit Yele Haiti organization have enormous funds unaccounted for.
The New York Post reported exclusively on Sunday that Yele Haiti, the nonprofit Jean founded with Jerry Duplessis in 2005, spent just $5.1 million of its $16 million on earthquake relief efforts. The Post also alleged that the organization solicited questionable agencies to carry out its work. The news outlet noted that Yele Haiti paid Amisphere Farm Labor Inc $1,008,000 to serve as a food distributor in Haiti. But, the Post found no trace of the Miami business, which never filed the appropriate paperwork to be incorporated in Florida. (Huffington Post)
Jean has already fired back at the accusations and stood by his charity's spending.
"The Post conveniently fails to acknowledge that the decisions that Yele made were a response to one of the world's most catastrophic natural disasters in modern history and required an immediate humanitarian response," Jean wrote in a statement. "We made decisions that enabled us to provide emergency assistance in the midst of chaos and we stand by those decisions." (Statement)
Following the 2010 earthquake, the rapper/activist immediately got involved in raising funds.
Wyclef arrived in Haiti with his wife and cousin Jerry Duplessis on Jan. 13, 2010, less than 24 hours after the earthquake hit Haiti. His charity, Yele, almost immediately began raising money. But according to The Post, which published the article on Sunday, the charity "spent a pittance of the" $16 million it collected in 2010. Less than a third went to emergency efforts and $1 million went to Amisphere Farm Labor Inc., which failed to complete the necessary paperwork to be incorporated in Florida. (Miami Herald)
No stranger to controversy, Jean's organization also went under fire three years ago.
Founded in 2005 with his cousin Jerry Duplessis, Jean's charity was troubled before the disastrous January 2010 earthquake struck his native country. In 2008, it was revealed that the organization had never filed required tax forms detailing its spending to the IRS. The charity lost $244,000 in 2009. But almost immediately after the January 12, 2010, quake, Jean took to Twitter asking for $5 donations, which quickly rolled in. (Yahoo News)
Check out past footage of Wyclef Jean speaking on the Haiti earthquake down below: