Wyclef’s Yele Haiti Foundation Hires New Accounting Firm
On Friday (Jan. 22), just one week after TheSmokingGun.com released its initial report questioning the accounting practices of Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Foundation, the former Fugees frontman announced that his non-profit organization had hired a new accounting firm. The announcement came just a few hours prior to the 'Hope for Haiti' global telethon, which Wyclef co-hosted from New York. Jean assured the public that Yele Haiti would avoid any more mistakes with the help of their new firm, RSM McGladrey, which would set up a new bank account for the Haiti earthquake fund.
The Yele Haiti Foundation was accused of making over $400,000 in profits on production services and appearance fees, in addition to failing to file taxes. Jean immediately and tearfully denied the rumors, expressing his disbelief at the timing of the accusations. "The fact that these attacks come as we are mobilized to meet the greatest human tragedy in the history of Haiti only serves to perplex me even further," he said via YouTube. Jean later admitted that any misdoings were the result of inexperience within the organization. "Have we made mistakes? Yes," he admitted. "Did I ever use Yele money for personal benefit? Absolutely not." During an appearance on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' on Wednesday (Jan. 20), Jean said that he was looking forward to doing better in the future. "I think we have learned from our mistakes," Jean told Oprah. "In moving forward, I think we're going to be stronger than ever."
Proceeds from the 'Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief' benefited the Yele Haiti Foundation and several other non-profit organizations including the Red Cross, Oxfam America and UNICEF.