Wyclef Jean Charity's Funny Money

Nyani Ngabu

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Nyani Ngabu

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Haiti earthquake aid pours into group that has enriched singer

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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

From the smokingun.com
 

Keynez

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Keynez

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Inawezekana anataka tu kubeat the system kwenye mambo ya tax, I'd rather contribute to YELE kuliko haya maorganisation mengine makubwa, hayo overhead costs zake utaona hizo figure za wyclef ni kiduchu tu, and besides, I'm a hip hop head. I'll give him the benefit of a doubt for now.

A little bit off-topic, Haitians are funny people though. Watu walikuwa wanakatiza mitaani damu zinamwagika shingoni, watu wengine hata hawawajali wanaendelea na maongezi, na zile scene za hospitali watu wamekaa pembeni ya maiti zilizobwagwa mlangoni, wale watu wanahitaji divine intervention for real.
 

Darwin

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Darwin

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Jean said he was baffled by the timing and nature of criticism of The Wyclef Jean Foundation Inc., which has already raised more than $2 million to help earthquake victims.
"It is impossible for me to even comprehend the recent attacks on my character and the integrity of my foundation," he said in a statement. "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."
 

Mwazange

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Mwazange

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Hizo loopholes zipo sana tu kwenye tax system ya kimarekani.....unajipiga penalty kwa kulipa rent late mwenyewe kwenye home ofice yako. Ukiingia kwa sana hata kwenye makampuni mengi maarufu huo mchezo upo kwa sana tu.
 

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