wyclef jean
by Ali Berman
Categories: Causes
Tags: .
Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

When you donate to a charity, do you expect your contributions to pay for Lindsay Lohan to take a private jet from New Jersey to Chicago? How about your funds going towards the $24,000 it takes for a private chaufeur service to drive Wyclef Jean around? Probably not.

According to the New York Times, Yele Haiti, Wyclef’s charity is now closing, due, in part, to the bad press and financial mismanagement allegations. The Times writes, “Even as Yéle is besieged by angry creditors, an examination of the charity indicates that millions in donations for earthquake victims went to its own offices, salaries, consultants’ fees and travel, to Mr. Jean’s brother-in-law for projects never realized, to materials for temporary houses never built and to accountants dealing with its legal troubles.”

Jean’s attorney said about the impending closure and charity troubles, “Wyclef Jean helped pay for the independent audit of Yele because of his commitment to both the organisation and the people of Haiti, and while most of its findings do not in any way relate to him he is nevertheless committed to ensuring that things are made right.”

So, how much does it cost for Lindsay Lohan to fly in a private jet from New Jersey to Chicago? A forensic audit looking into $3 million dollars used by the organization between 2005 and 2009 says $30,763. How much did the benefit she attended raise for the organization? Only $66,000. We can’t imagine why the organization is going under (sarcasm.) The total amount of funds used that benefited Jean, the board and staff members instead of the organization? $256,580.

Check out the full NY Times piece for the scoop.

We’ll leave you with this quote from an orphanage in Haiti that has a painting of Wyclef Jean on their wall: ““If I had depended on Yéle, these kids would all be dead by now.”

Yikes.

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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