Wyclef Hires New Accountants; Other Non-Profits Examined


Rapper and activist Wyclef Jean has already denied any conscious wrongdoings involving his Yele Haiti charity, but he has gone one step further to clear his reputation, by hiring new accountants.

Just hours before yesterday’s Hope For Haiti telethon, Wyclef announced he has hired accounting firm RSM McGladrey to administer the millions in donations that are being pledged to Haiti through the non-profit.

His non-profit organization came under scrutiny when the non-profit’s tax records hit the Internet last week.

The rapper was accused of wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars and over paying himself and his partner Jerry Duplessis through the charity.

Yesterday afternoon (January 22), Gawker.com also reported that the rapper’s $100,000 performance fee was the reason a 2006 concert for the organization was cancelled.

Wyclef already admitted to wrong doing, although he blamed it on inexperience, hence the new accounting firm.

“Have we made mistakes? Yes,” Jean admitted. “Did I ever use Yele money for personal benefit? Absolutely not.”

According to reports, Jean’s non-profit is raising around $1 million dollars per day.

Jean told Oprah Winfrey that he has learned from his past mistakes with the charity.

“I think we have learned from our mistakes,” Jean told Oprah Winfrey. “In moving forward, I think we’re going to be stronger than ever.”

In a report on ABC.com yesterday, a number of other charities were scrutinized, including the Red Cross, The Salvation Army and The United Way.

The Red Cross’ former President Mark Everson resigned in 2007 after an affair with an employee, while others have resigned over the management of donations for Hurricane Katrina and September 11.

The Salvation Army was accused of discrimination in December and has labeled unfriendly to the Gay and Lesbian communities.

As for the United Way, its former CEO Oral Suer was sent to prison on 2004 for stealing funds.

His replacement, Normal Taylor was forced to resign when it was revealed that he was aware of the abuses of his predecessor and did nothing to stop them.

Fans who wish to donate to Wyclef Jean’s Haiti relief fund can pledge $5 by texting the word “Yele” to 501501. - Mike Winslow