Report: Donations Given To Phantom Company By Wyclef Jean's Charity
On January 12th, 2010, an earthquake devastated Haiti, killing many and further impoverishing the nation. A slew of donations poured in to help the relief effort, nearly sixteen million dollars to the Wyclef Jean-run charity Yele alone. Unfortunately, it now seems much of the money given to the musician’s organization didn’t make it to the injured and homeless who actually needed it.
The New York Post recently completed an exhaustive analysis of the charity’s 2010 spending report and found less than a third of donations, roughly five million, one hundred thousand dollars, actually went to relief efforts. Over one million dollars was paid to Amisphere Farm Labor, a company that apparently doesn’t exist, and thirty-five thousand dollars a month was shelled out for rent on a luxury house for relief workers. Wyclef Jean’s brother in law also made out handsomely, as his company received a more than three hundred and fifty thousand dollar construction contract.
This isn’t the first troubling report of gross mismanagement within the charity. Similar allegations emerged soon after the earthquake. Wyclef Jean actually cried during a news conference admitting he had made mistakes but did not take one cent for himself. There’s no reason to think he personally benefited from the money now either, but these more thorough claims certainly highlight how extensive the mismanagement was.
Jean left Yele earlier this year, and the organization is now being run by Derek Johnson. He told the Post the charity is now “clean”, but just how much this might inhibit future giving won’t be known for quite awhile.
The vast majority of charities do not give one hundred percent of donations. There are costs with running a business. People need to be paid to crunch numbers, make decisions and receive and tabulate money. Less than one-third, however, is poor form. This whole situation further highlights the need for charities to employ someone full time to manage, rather than a celebrity multi-tasking.