Wyclef Jean Charity
November 28, 2011 by staff
Wyclef Jean Charity, Less than a third of the £10m raised by hip hop star Wyclef Jean for earthquake relief in Haiti has gone towards emergency efforts in the country, it has been reported.
An article in the New York Post claims Jean’s charity, Yele Haiti, spent millions on questionable contracts – with $1m (£643,000) paid to a Florida firm that appears not to exist.
The newspaper also reported that a company called P&A Construction – which is run by Warnel Pierre, Jean’s brother-in-law – received $353,983 (£226,943) from the group.
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 the organisation had never filed required tax forms detailing its spending to the US tax authority, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The charity lost $244,000 (£157,000) in 2009 but received large numbers of donations after a Twitter appeal following the January 2010 quake in Haiti.
Soon after, it was reported that Yele Haiti had given $250,000 (£161,000) to a Haitian TV station controlled by Jean and Duplessis.
Jean, who previously made a failed bid for Haiti’s presidency, released a statement defending the charity, which said: “We did the best we could with the available resources.
“I am proud of the way that Yele handled the crisis on the ground in 2010. We were able to feed, clothe, provide medical assistance and shelter for more than 250 thousand people in need.
“I have acknowledged that Yele has made mistakes in the past, including being late in IRS filings, but that is old news.
“When I entered politics last summer, I transitioned from being a board member and chairman of Yele Haiti to a supporter.
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