Wyclef Jean’s Charity Being Questioned by Authorities

16 Jan

Haiti’s musician Wyclef Jean, left, arrives at the airport in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010, the day after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit his country. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

(AP)

Groups that vet charities are raising doubts about the organization backed by Haitian-born rapper Wyclef Jean, questioning its accounting practices and ability to function in earthquake-hit Haiti.

Even as more than $2 million poured into The Wyclef Jean Foundation Inc. via text message after just two days, experts questioned how much of the money would help those in need.

"It’s questionable. There’s no way to get around that," said Art Taylor, president and chief executive of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, based in Arlington, Va.

Taylor reviewed Internal Revenue Service tax returns for the organization also known as Yele Haiti Foundation from 2005 through 2007. He said the first red flag of poor accounting practices was that three years of returns were filed on the same day — Aug. 10 of last year.

In 2007, the foundation’s spending exceeded its revenues by $411,000. It brought in just $79,000 that year.

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One Response to “Wyclef Jean’s Charity Being Questioned by Authorities”

  1. Fredy and Judith January 17, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    I donated to YELE but must admit after hearing the reports yesterday I am a bit frustrated. Of course the media has propped up Wycelft but everyone’s deserves redemption or a second change. In cases like the crisis in Haiti, unfortunately many will be coming out of the woodworks to hustle and take advantage of the situation. In the meantime, whoever is administering his foundation needs to get off their butt and file the necessary documentation so they are solid and legitimate, and further, take a look at how they operate while enriching themselves in the guise of helping those they claim to assist. In other words spread the wealth and create legitimate opportunities versus using the organization to pay off croonies. Finally, I am sure Wycelf will learn a lesson from this episode as something as innocent as being above board, can destroy one’s reputation, when in fact his true heart is in the right place.

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