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- Posted on Jan 18th 2010 11:41AM by Stephen Dowling
Jean's Yele Foundation has so far raised more than $2m (£1.23m) since last week's earthquake near the country's capital Port-au-Prince, which is feared to have killed tens of thousands of people.
"I have been committed to helping the people of Haiti throughout my life, and that commitment will continue until the day I die," Jean wrote on his website, with an accompanying video. "I denounce any allegation that I have ever profited personally through my work with Yele Haiti. These baseless attacks are simply not true."
The Smoking Gun website published a series of documents in which it called into question the charity's finances. According to it, Mr Jean and his business partner were paid at least $410,000 for rent and production services, including $100,000 for the singer's appearance at a benefit concert. The website said experts called that amount into question.
There have been other critics, too. "It seems clear that a significant amount of the monies that this charity raises go for costs other than providing benefits to Haitians in need," Dean Zerbe, a former tax counsel to the US senate finance committee, which oversees charities, told the Washington Post.
"I have never and would never take money for my personal pocket when it comes to Yele," Jean said in a video statement. "I myself have put a million dollars inside my own foundation. Not only do I denounce that, I am disgusted by that."
Jean's foundation, which was set up to provide scholarships for poor Haitians, has been operating since 2005. It has funded the country's national football team and employed women to help cook in schools, the Guardian newspaper reported. It also used local people to help deliver food to thousands of people affected by a storm in 2008.
As previously reported on Spinner, Jean responded to last week's earthquake's with an immediate plea for money to help fund relief missions to the country, which is the poorest in the western hemisphere.