Wyclef Jean Shuts Down Charity, Accused Of Paying Off Alleged Mistress With Funds
By: Taren Vaughan
Is Wyclef Jean shutting down his charity organization Yéle Haiti? Wyclef Jean has been quite busy these days, writing an autobiography, referencing the secret romance that he had with Lauryn Hill and her claims of him being the father of her child. In the midst of spilling the beans on what he and Lauryn had going on, Wyclef hasn’t forgotten his Haitian roots as the rapper over the years has dedicated his time and efforts to help the residents of the Caribbean country. And his efforts increased drastically after the island suffered from a damaging earthquake in 2009. Seeing the aftermath and the condition that the earthquake left the place that he grew up in, Wyclef Jean’s charity organization Yéle Haiti set out to raise money to rebuild the island nation. As many people thought the organization was for the better good of the Haitian people, turns out that there supposedly was some funny business going on concerning the money that the organization brought in, claims revealing that portions of the organization’s profit were not going solely to the cause, accusing Wyclef and his family of spending some of the funds on their personal and business expenses. And now it seems that Wyclef has decided to shut down Yéle Haiti after more controversy surrounds it. Here’s the recent news on the situation:
Wyclef Jean’s Yéle Haiti charity is under fire once again.
The organization, which exploded in the aftermath of the 2009 earthquake that wrecked much of the impoverished island nation, shut down this summer while under investigation by the Attorney General of the State of New York; its founders rejected a settlement in which they’d pay over $600,000 each for misuse of the massive funds it collected since it launched in 2005, leading the New York Times to publish details of its dicey financial records.
The Times reports that the organization spent much of its money on “offices, salaries, consultants’ fees and travel,” as well as pay for Jean’s family, friends and defense attorneys. Between 2005-2009, it spent “$256,580 in illegitimate benefits to Mr. Jean and other Yéle board and staff members as well as improper or potentially improper transactions.”
Included was a payout of $24,000 for a car service for the Fugees singer, as well as $30,763 to fly Lindsay Lohan to a fundraiser that raised $66,000.
In 2010, the first big year of fundraising after the earthquake, the group earned $16 million and spent $9 million, half of which, the Times reports, went to office space and salaries. In 2006, Jean demanded $100,000 to perform at a concert for the group. Many vendors, including those providing meals and housing, have received only partial payment, or none at all. Meanwhile, many of Jean’s relatives earned pay topping over half a million dollars, for work not completed or specified. The group also bought $250,000 worth of time on a TV station owned by Jean.
Yele has come under criticism a number of times for its seemingly misguided spending; in 2011, the NY Post reported that the group spent only $5.1 million on relief efforts in 2010, giving $1 million to a Florida organization that it says seemingly did not exist. Jean angrily defended the group, though he was no longer affiliated with it, as he resigned to run for president of Haiti. He would be disqualified from the race because he lives in New Jersey.
In 2010, The Smoking Gun posted documents that showed the group made payments of over $100,000 to Jean’s alleged mistress.
In addition to the report, the following statement was found on a Wyclef Jean fan page on Facebook:
According to Jean’s spokesperson Melanie A. Bonvicino, ” At present my client Wyclef Jean and his legal team are working “assiduously” to resolve any pending issues with respect to Yele prior to its closing, as Mr. Jean continues his tireless commitment to his “beloved” country by remaining steadfast in his efforts to encourage the global community to join him in supporting ongoing relief efforts in Haiti.
Some are trying to add much more to Yele’s reality for their own good and agenda but the numbers and facts will be out in few days so you all can judge for yourselves, what was really done in and for Haiti.
One World, One love!!! Have a blessed weekend!!!