Saturday, January 23, 2010

Beware of Haitian rip offs

The foundation of Wyclef Jean said Friday it has hired a new accounting firm after the Haitian-born rapper acknowledged the organization had made mistakes.

The announcement came hours before Jean was to headline a globally broadcast concert called "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief," in which donations would flow through to charities including his own.

The finances of the Wyclef Jean Foundation Inc., also known as Yele Haiti Foundation, were questioned last week after it was revealed the charity had paid Jean to perform at fundraising events and bought advertising air time from a television station he co-owns.

Jean held fundraisers to collect money for his Haitian charity, and then paid himself for goods and services (and appearances at the fundraisers) from the money collected.

This is the problem with helping Haiti. This is why Haiti was in such bad shape before the earthquake. This is why we can't fix Haiti.

Whether aid to Haiti will get ripped off is not subject to debate. The only question is, "How much?"

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