An ambassador to his native Haiti, Wyclef Jean is setting his sights on a grand homecoming, hoping to become that country’s president come September. While you could easily argue that a musician with no political experience really has no business running for president, keep in mind that this is Haiti you’re talking about: a country that’s has had little to no direction since BEFORE Mother Nature decided to hit the ol’ reset button with a massive earthquake. And, apparently, he’s already lying like a seasoned vet! The Smoking Gun reports that he’s had his hand in his the piggy bank of his charitable foundation Yele Haiti for a long time, despite having provided thousands of scholarships to combat Haiti’s ridiculous illiteracy rate (nearly 80%).
As seen on these pages from the foundation’s 2006 tax return, the group paid $31,200 in rent to Platinum Sound, a Manhattan recording studio owned by Jean and Jerry Duplessis, who, like Jean, is a foundation board member. A $31,200 rent payment was also made in 2007 to Platinum Sound. The rent, tax returns assure, “is priced below market value.”
The recording studio also was paid $100,000 in 2006 for the “musical performance services of Wyclef Jean at a benefit concert.” That six-figure payout, the tax return noted, “was substantially less than market value.” The return, of course, does not address why Jean needed to be paid to perform at his own charity’s fundraiser.
The Smoking Gun – Wyclef Jean’s Funny Money
Honestly, I still have to think he HAS TO BE somewhat less corrupt than the current administration over there. And the fact that he’s well known in America might help keep Haiti in the collective-awareness of the rest of the western hemisphere. Sean Penn’s not so sure about him, but the bar is low enough for basically anyone to improve upon. All you need is a dartboard.