Update: “Wyclef Jean Has Never Profited From his Organization,” Yele President Clarifies [Video]

Just one day after thesmokinggun.com posted an article on their site questioning the history of Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation, the president of the organization has issued a response.

As previously reported, TSG has obtained the tax returns of Clef’s charity, which show that the former Fugees frontman and his business partner, Jerry Duplessis, have been compensated over $400,000 in rent, production services and appearance fees from the organization since its creation 12 years ago.

Hugh Locke, the president of the non-profit, had this to say in the charity’s defense: “Wyclef Jean, the founder of Yele Haiti, has never profited from his organization. It’s a shame that during this international emergency, we have had to divert resources away from our response efforts to address these allegations.”

The Smoking Gun also says that last year was the first time that Yele had filed tax returns with the IRS and they only disclosed information about the years, 2005, 2006 and 2009.

“Yele Haiti, originally called the Wyclef Jean Foundation, filed a tax return in 2000 and then suspended activities until 2005 and so was not required by law to file a tax return until it resumed operation,” Locke explained.

Clef, a native and Goodwill Ambassador to the earthquake struck country, has reportedly raised over $2 million in donations in relief funds as of yesterday (January 15). —Max G

Update: Wyclef issued a video statement responding to the accusations against his organization. [Watch below]

  • blackbuddah

    F#ck what people think this man has put haiti on his back and for someone to claim he has done something wrong is disrespectful. When people start organizations they sometimes are self contained meaning sometimes donations pay for the functioning of that organization if it receives no government help. Why dont thesmokinggun do an investigation into where all that katrina money went or better yet why dont they track that stimulus money instead of trying to sour the reputation of our modern day hendrix.

    • Blackhendrix

      Blackbuddah,

      I feel it is never wrong to question someone’s motives. Especially not Jean’s. You say it is disrespectful.You say that as if it is a bad thing. What did this man do that placed him in a category above and beyond disrespect? When did it become wrong to have an opinion towards a public figure? I could sadly surmise that such an attitude towards a public personality implies an unquestioning mindset. I feel such a mindset has no place when politics come into play. I feel an attitude of a questioning nature is healthy, and could even coexist with a positive outlook towards Jean. Please understand the importance of opinion. Please understand that Jean is human and therefore fellow humans have a right to disrespect him or adore him. Humans have a right to decide for themselves wether or not he is a modern day Hendrix. I would then have to ask you, what credentials does Jean have to place him in a category of equivalent musical worth with Hendrix. What did Jean do to the guitar that was equally as important as what Hendrix did to the guitar? My opinion is that he has done nothing to the guitar besides write songs on it. Please correct if I am wrong. So then I ask, in what way would Jean make a good president of an entire country? What equates someone with a mediocre music career and a very brandish Haitian relief program to someone with experience in politics. It must be because he, in your eyes, cannot be scrutinized. Other public leaders who would not allow themselves to be scrutinized? Hitler, Castro, Kim Jong Il, to name a few.

  • FPL

    Sad indeed.

  • Truth

    Wyclef paid HIMSELF 100,000 to “perform at his OWN charity event”.. He paid his STUDIO in NY over 60,000 in “rent”… 300,000 in “consulting fees”… 250,000 to a media company in Haiti that he is one of the Controlling owners for “TV Commercials” Why would he need to run COMMERCIALS in order to HELP PEOPLE? No where in his documents even show he is a non profit… no records of HELPING HAITI, Food? Shelter? Eduction? Health care? NOTHING… Fuck Wyclef and his incompetent “President of his Foundation” who filed taxes 3 times in 12 years… I dont care about the tax part, but when you are getting MILLIONS in donations from the general public, you MUST be able to PROVE you are using it to help people…

    • http://www.jamaica-fact-fest.com Jamaicafest

      These allegations need to be fully addressed by Wyclef Jean.

    • http://www.bboycult.com $ykotic/Don McCaine

      “Why would he need to run COMMERCIALS in order to HELP PEOPLE?”

      ^The Red Cross & Salvation Army run commercials all the time. Most of them cancer commercials are from non-profit groups.

      “when you are getting MILLIONS in donations from the general public, you MUST be able to PROVE you are using it to help people…”

      ^The government don’t even do that. They get donations too (TAXES). So does your neighborhood church, they show NOTHING.

      “incompetent “President of his Foundation” who filed taxes 3 times in 12 years…”

      ^”filed a tax return in 2000 and then suspended activities until 2005 and so was not required by law to file a tax return until it resumed operation”

      And this is not Clef stanning. This is actual business FACT. You might need to brush up on your business studies, because you are also missing the part about how Clef DON’T DO HIS OWN TAXES. Accountants and lawyers are on the payroll for that, so ask who’s really writing in those deductions. People want to say Clef is robbing his own, those same people should scrutinize every other person who is saying they are donating. ALL OF THEM.

      “It’s a shame that during this international emergency, we have had to divert resources away from our response efforts to address these allegations.”

    • http://www.bboycult.com $ykotic/Don McCaine

      OK.

      “Why would he need to run COMMERCIALS in order to HELP PEOPLE?”

      ^The Red Cross & Salvation Army run commercials all the time. Most of them cancer commercials are from non-profit groups.

      “when you are getting MILLIONS in donations from the general public, you MUST be able to PROVE you are using it to help people…”

      ^The government don’t even do that. They get donations too (TAXES). So does your neighborhood church, they show NOTHING.

      “incompetent “President of his Foundation” who filed taxes 3 times in 12 years…”

      ^”filed a tax return in 2000 and then suspended activities until 2005 and so was not required by law to file a tax return until it resumed operation”

      And this is not Clef stanning. This is actual business FACT. You might need to brush up on your business studies, because you are also missing the part about how Clef DON’T DO HIS OWN TAXES. Accountants and lawyers are on the payroll for that, so ask who’s really writing in those deductions. People want to say Clef is robbing his own, those same people should scrutinize every other person who is saying they are donating. ALL OF THEM.

      “It’s a shame that during this international emergency, we have had to divert resources away from our response efforts to address these allegations.”

  • Technique

    Props to XXL for clarifying that thiss weekend.

  • these posts are racist

    Smoking Gun needs to step up its game. I don’t like how they simply report “he didn’t file taxes for the foundation…” without making sure the situation required the filing of taxes!

    Morever…how much does Wyclef make off producing one of those Shakira tracks??? I knew this story was bull from the moment I heard about it. Now let’s worry about the mutherfucking disaster in Haiti.

  • Won1

    You mean my hard-earned $5 i donated went to ‘Clef’s pocket?? I knew i shoulda just bought that nick !!!

  • Won1

    i knew i couldnt trust a dude who’s half dread and bald-headed !!!!

  • PHARO

    WYCLEF IS NOT MAKING MONEY FROM HIS OWN CHARITY .
    .
    .
    HE PUTS MORE MONEY INTO IT THEN HE GETS BACK FOR EXPENSES
    .
    .
    HOW THE FUCK CAN HE BE PROFITING.
    .
    .
    FUCK YOU SIMPLE ASS PEOPLE…YOU ARE A SLAVE TO THE MEDIA

  • caino

    its sad , how when doing a nice decent think gets twisted and now he needs to defend himself!! how about we all help haiti first and worry about this second??

    (tho l did say on another post l never donate money to txt message etc , as you never know where the mula is going!!)

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