Now see, that’s that bullsh*t! Every time a brother tries to do something good somebody has to come out of left field trynna shut him down. I read the following story about Wyclef and his foundation – the same foundation that is kicking ass raising funds for Haiti, his native home – over at The Smoking Gun:
JANUARY 14–The Haiti earthquake has already triggered hundreds of thousands of donations to musician Wyclef Jean’s charitable foundation, which expects to raise upwards of $1 million a day in the disaster’s wake. However, Internal Revenue Service records show the group has a lackluster history of accounting for its finances, and that the organization has paid the performer and his business partner at least $410,000 for rent, production services, and Jean’s appearance at a benefit concert. Though the Wyclef Jean Foundation, which does business as Yele Haiti Foundation, was incorporated 12 years ago–and has been active since that time–the group only first filed tax returns in August 2009.That month, the foundation provided the IRS with returns covering calendar years 2005, 2006, and 2007–the only periods for which it has publicly provided a glimpse at its financial affairs.
In 2006, Jean’s charity reported contributions of $1 million, the bulk of which came from People magazine in exchange for the first photos of a pregnant Angelina Jolie (the actress reportedly directed that the publication’s payment go to Jean’s charity, not her personally). As seen on the following pages from the foundation’s 2006 tax return, the group paid $31,200 in rent to Platinum Sound, a Manhattan recording studio owned by Jean and Jerry Duplessis, who, like Jean, is a foundation board member. A $31,200 rent payment was also made in 2007 to Platinum Sound. The rent, tax returns assure, “is priced below market value.” The recording studio also was paid $100,000 in 2006 for the “musical performance services of Wyclef Jean at a benefit concert.” That six-figure payout, the tax return noted, “was substantially less than market value.” The return, of course, does not address why Jean needed to be paid to perform at his own charity’s fundraiser.
But the largest 2006 payout–a whopping $250,000–went to Telemax, S.A., a for-profit Haiti company in which Jean and Duplessis were said to “own a controlling interest.” The money covered “pre-purchased…TV airtime and production services” that were part of the foundation’s “outreach efforts” in Haiti. No further description of these services was offered, though the return claimed that “the fees paid are below market” and that the use of Telemax was the “most efficient way of providing these services.” The group’s tax returns also report “consultant” payments totaling $300,000 between 2005-2007, while the 2006 return reported nearly $225,000 in “promotion and PR” costs. These expenses are not itemized further in the IRS returns. (6 pages)
You see this sh*t?! A n*gga can’t even do good deeds without being scrutinized and receiving negative media bullsh*t. Obviously Wyclef is doing something right the way he has exhaustively put in work not only over the years for Haiti, but more so in the last week because of the earthquake. I find it very peculiar that this all comes out now, and not before which makes me suspicious. Sounds like typical hater/hoe-sh*t to me that came with great timing and malicious intent. People are in need of help desperately in Haiti and this is what hits the airwaves? But no, instead some asshole is worried that his $5 donation is going towards funding another Spiderman leather motorcycle suit for Wyclef at another Funkmaster Flex car show.
The question is, who’s the clown that dug this up? A part of me wants to think it’s former Fugee, Pras, with whom ‘Clef has had beef years ago. But then Pras is too himself of Haitian descent so it’s hard for me to be convinced that this is all his doing especially since he like ‘Clef are encouraging people to help. Lauren Hill maybe? Naah!! I dunno, but my inner conspiracy theorist is telling me that this has Rush Limbaugh’s grubby fingerprints all over it. Why not, after all, he’s been trying to discourage people from donating to Haiti anyway. Well, if not him then some other like-minded knuckle-dragger then…
Look, Haiti needs our help, and you don’t have to donate to Wyclef’s foundation Yele Haiti exclusively – there are many organizations to whom you can donate to. Yes there are a number of scams as far as Haitian fundraisers are concerned, but please believe this isn’t one of them. In my opinion, and having worked with and for 501(c) Charitable Organizations where as little as 6% of donated funds go directly to the charity people support. I trust Wyclef’s Yele Haiti above all right about now and I encourage you to support his efforts not for him, but for the people in Haiti who need us right now.
Shout-out to Wyclef and all the “refugees” the world over: