Wyclef Jean's Haitian Charity Tax Records Show Shady Spending (Report)
The musician's charity made $16 million in 2010, but only spent $5.1 million on Haitian relieve efforts, and paid hundreds of thousands to family members' companies.
Millions of people donated to Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Foundation shortly after the 7.0 earthquake that killed between 200,000 and 300,000 Haitians Jan. 12, 2010, and caused a cholera epidemic that is still going on.
The non-profit organization, which was created by the musician in 2005, raised an incredible $16 million in the months following Haiti's devastating natural disaster.
But, tax records filed by the group for 2010 show that only $5.1 million of that money was actually spend on relief efforts, the New York Post reports.
Records show that $353,983 was paid to P&A Construction, a contracting company run by Jean's brother-in-law Warnel Pierre. In addition, over $1 million was paid to Amisphere Farm Labor Inc. as a "food distributor," however, the supposedly Miami-based company does not seem to exist, says the Post. However, the listed head of the organization, Amsterly Pierre purchased three Florida properties in the last year.
This is not the first time the charity has found itself in hot water. The organization was called out for never having filed a tax form in 2008, it also lost $244,000 in 2009. Following the 2010 earthquake, donations poured in, but Jean and Yele were almost immediately accused of misallocating funds. Jean held a press conference Jan. 18, 2010 in an attempt to clear the charity's name.
Have we made mistakes before? Yes,” Jean said at the time. “Did I ever use Yele money for personal benefits? Absolutely not. Yele’s books are open and transparent
Jean and most of Yele Haiti's acting board left the organization in the summer of 2010. The musician also abandoned an attempt at running for president in Haiti's 2010 Nov. elections.