Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean’s charity Yele Haiti has closed down following the resignation of its chief executive, Derek Q. Johnson.
Johnson took over as chief executive of the N.Y.-based charity after Jean decided to run for president of Haiti. The rapper’s candidacy was disqualified because his residency was in New Jersey, not Haiti.
The New York attorney general’s office has an ongoing investigation into Yele’s finances that dates back to issues with pre-earthquake finances.
According to the New York Times, Johnson’s resignation came after Jean “declined to accept a settlement proposed by the attorney general covering the charity’s pre-earthquake activities.”
The settlement proposed by the NY attorney general required Jean and Yele’s other founders to pay $600,000 to cover acquired debts and pay for a forensic audit covering the years since the 2010 earthquake.
The Haitian-born Jean created Yele Haiti in 2005 in an effort to give back to his native community. The charity was fairly small until the devastating earthquake in 2010, after which Yele raised a reported $16 million.
Audits following the quake revealed that $9 million of the money raised was spent by Yele on salaries, travel, and office expenses. Yele’s questionable spending also includes paying Eric Warnel Pierre, Jean’s brother-in-law, over $600,000 for projects that were never completed and with a mysterious Florida company called Amisphere Farm Labor that has no record of even existing.
In the midst of Yele’s multiple financial scandals, Jean’s spokesperson released a statement stating that the rapper and his lawyers are trying to resolve all issues prior to the charity’s closing and that “Mr. Jean continues his tireless commitment to his beloved country.”
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