Funny Money

Is Wyclef Jean's Charity a Sham?

In the wake of the Haitian earthquake, Wyclef Jean’s charity, the Wyclef Jean Foundation, is expected to raise $1 million per day. But would do-gooders be better off sending their money elsewhere? The Smoking Gun looks at the foundation’s funny money. For one, the company has only given the IRS returns for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007, despite being incorporated 12 years ago. In 2006, the Foundation reported donations of $1 million (most of which came from People magazine). $31,200 of that money went in rent to a recording studio owned by a foundation board member, $100,000 was paid to Wyclef Jean for his performance at a benefit concert (why did he need to be paid to perform at his own charity’s fundraiser?), and $250,000 went to a for-profit Haitian company in which Jean and a foundation board member are said to “own a controlling interest.”