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| Columns |

Wyclef Jean Uses Charity to Get Paid

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​All over Facebook, Twitter, television newscasts, and radio broadcasts, reporters and ordinary folks have been encouraging relatives, friends and anyone who cares to donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake fund, the humanitarian relief effort spearheaded by the non-profit organization founded by Haitian-American entertainer and part-time Miami resident Wyclef Jean.

According to media reports, Yele is on pace to collect more than $1 million a day. Well, South Floridians should know that the Refugee All-Star has profited from Yele.

Yesterday, The Smoking Gun posted Yele's tax returns for 2005, 2006, and 2007 which show the foundation paid $31,200 in rent to a recording studio owned by Jean and a Yele board member, who together "own a controlling interest" in a company that was paid $250,000 by the foundation for "pre-purchased...TV airtime and production services." In 2006, Yele paid it's founder $100,000, which the tax return stated was below market value, for a musical performance at a benefit concert.

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