Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Wyclef Jean shuts down his Haiti charity after allegations of impropriety

Wyclef Jean has laid relatively low since dropping his bid to become president of Haiti because of Satan. But Haiti has continued to feel the effects (or lack thereof) of his now-defunct mega-charity, Yéle. Today's New York Times has a story on the New York Attorney General’s ongoing investigation into Yéle, which seems to have gotten away with gross fiscal irresponsibility before its collapse.


Yéle’s suspicious business dealings ranged from spending a full half of its revenue on travel, salaries, consultants, and office fees, to over $256,000 in illegitimate benefits—including $24,000 for Jean’s chauffeur service and over $30,000 for a private jet to fly Lindsay Lohan to a benefit that barely raised $60,000. Jean also received $100,000 to perform at his own charity’s fundraiser, and gave expensive contracts to his brother-in-law to renovate an orphanage whose director tells the Times, “If I had depended on Yéle, these kids would all be dead by now.”

Not one to take thorough audits by the New York Attorney General lying down, Jean claims in a new memoir that he endured a “crucifixion” by being asked perfectly reasonable questions about what, exactly, his charity did with its $16 million in donations. Jean further argues that he has been persecuted “like Jesus and Martin Luther King, Jr.” Like those men, Jean has an excellent moral defense of his behavior: He clearly didn't need to embezzle money, because his watch collection alone is worth $500,000.

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