Volume 47, Number 11 - February 2, 2010

About the Reporter

Alexandra de Armas
Alexandra de Armas
North Campus Bureau Chief

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Wyclef, why?

By Alexandra de Armas

Wyclef Jean founded Yele Haiti, a charity foundationthat has raised more than $2 million to aid the Haitian earthquake victims.

This is beneficial after the disaster that has struck Haiti. But how much of these funds are really going to help Haiti’s citizens? Jean’s 2006 tax return statement, posted on TheSmokingGun. com, shows that the foundation has used some of the donated funds to Jean’s personal benefit.

According to the site, $250,000 went toward T.V. production for Telemax, and $31,000 was spent on rent at Platinum Sound.

Both companies are owned by Jean and Jerry Duplessis, Yele Haiti board members.

If that’s not enough, $100,000 of the foundation’s funds, were spent to pay Jean himself for performing at a benefit concert.

Jean appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show on Jan. 20, where he publicly denied using the foundation’s funds for himself. “I have never in any form taken payment for myself,” Jean said.

“As a matter of fact, when I started my charity, I put my first million dollars in.” If Jean didn’t take $100,000 from the foundation’s tax return statement claims, then who did? Jean explained that the eyebrows began to rise when Yele Haiti was raising $1 million a day after the earthquake.

According to an article in The Miami Herald, the accounting organization, Grant Thornton LLP, has been replaced by RSM Mc-Gladrey.

Although he admits that the company has been “ran poorly in the past,” he looks at the foundation’s future with optimism. “I think we have learned from our mistakes[. . .] and we are going to be stronger than ever.”

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