Wyclef Jean hires a new accountant

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Yele Haiti, the non-profit formed by musician Wyclef Jean, said Friday that it hired an accounting firm in the wake of increased public scrutiny of its finances.

The organization's board of directors said that the firm RSM McGladrey will help the group set up a new bank account for its Haitian earthquake fund.

The announcement came days after Jean tearfully denied allegations that he misappropriated funds from his charity. The accusations emerged after the Haitian native returned to the U.S. following several days of relief work in Port-au-Prince in the wake of the recent earthquake.

The allegations stemmed from payments made by Yele Haiti toward businesses owned by Jean and another board member -- including a production company and recording studio. The non-profit also failed to file taxes for three years.

Hugh Locke, president of Yele Haiti, described the failure to file as a "mistake." The organization eventually caught up with its taxes, according to documents filed by Yele Haiti.

Tax experts told CNNMoney.com that the organization did not break any rules in paying businesses owned by board members for services, so long as it was not being overcharged.

Jesse Derris, a spokesman for Yele Haiti, said the non-profit will continue to use Grant Thorton LLP to assist with tax services.

The non-profit employed Grant Thorton in 2009 to help catch up with its filings. To top of page

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