Wyclef Jean may have had the best of intentions when he launched his Yele Haiti Foundation in 2010, in an effort to bring relief to the earthquake-battered nation of Haiti, but the foundation soon came under fire when Jean and his relatives were accused of pocketing the relief money for themselves. After continued scrutiny, the foundation finally shut down in September. But, Jean is not done defending his charitable effort and recently spoke with MTV News to try and clear his name.
“When you start an organization, there are gonna be mistakes, but the mistakes were never us banking money in our pockets to get rich on behalf of our people,” he said in late September, in the midst of Yele Haiti’s downfall. “When those kind of mistakes are made within governance, you bring in new accountants, new governance, and that’s what we did.”
Despite Jean’s change in governance, Yele Haiti left behind massive debt and several unfinished projects. According to the New York Times, Yele Haiti auditors examined $3 million of the organization’s expenses from 2005 to 2009, and learned that $256,580 was used for illegal benefits and improper transactions like private air transportation and chauffeur services.
However, Jean claims that he started the foundation as a way to help the people of his native nation, not profit from their misery.
“The legacy of Yele Haiti and why people trust in Yele Haiti is because it’s not something I created when the earthquake came,” he said. “This is something I created in 2005. Always remember this: If you decide that you’re not just gonna be musician, you’re not gonna just be a rapper, you’re gonna stand up for something and be in the forefront of it, you’re gonna get challenged constantly.”
“When history tells its tale to define the truth … one thing about history, as history goes it will protect me,” he continued. “So there’s one thing that you might feel now, but 70 years from now, a hundred years from now, when you’re not around, facts come out. So history will always be on my side because the truth eventually ends up coming out.”
Well, ‘Clef isn’t the only star that’s been accused of bad business. Check out some other stars with a bad business rap below. –nicholas robinson