Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti charity gave only one third of donations to earthquake victims
Remember when former Fugees member Wyclef Jean took to the airwaves to beg people to send money to his Yele Haiti charity in the wake of that awful earthquake last year? The Juice* kind of hopes you gave it to Doctors Without Borders instead, because it's starting to look like Wyclef didn't use hardly any of that cash to help earthquake victims.
The New York Post says that while Yele Haiti's balance sheets tipped at $16 million in 2010, less than a third went to aid people in need, while $1,008,00 was paid to a Miami business called Amisphere Farm Labor, Inc, described as a "food distributor." Problem is, there's no such workplace to be found, the paper said. The company's honcho, Amsterly Pierre, did manage to buy three properties in the state last year, though. The address for the company, which incorporated in 2008, was traced to a car repair shop in Little Haiti where the owner had never heard of such a place. Hmmm.
Yele Haiti also shelled out $577,185 to a "bulk water supplier" in Port-au-Prince called Samosa SA, but some of that cash went to house Yele Haiti volunteers on company property for a whopping $35,000 per month. A mere $5.1 million was claimed toward disaster relief, according to the charity's 2010 tax records. Too bad 'Clef didn't get to run in that Haitian presidential election, because he sure knows how to cover up shady business deals like a politician.
Yele Haiti had come under fire after Jean started soliciting donations via Twitter for the earthquake because the organization was caught giving a TV station owned by Jean and cousin Jerry Duplessis $250,000 four years prior. Yele Haiti didn't file any IRS tax return at all in 2008, but it did show a $244,000 loss in 2009.
"Given the fact that Yele Haiti was involved in a swirl of controversy after the earthquake in Haiti, it's all the more reason to be more transparent to ensure donors that their funds are going to help people," the Better Business Bureau’s Bennett Weiner told the Post. Yeah, if we want our charitable donations misappropriated, we'll waste our cash the old-fashioned way -- we'll give it to the Red Cross.
[Photo: Getty Images]