Recently there were troubling accusations from the New York Post regarding the "Hope For Them Foundation" and former Fugees band member Pras Michel.
On October 5th, Page Six featured a story claiming, "Ex Fugee rapper bailed on his own 9/11 benefit concert."
Reporters also claimed the foundation bounced a check to the venue, falsely claimed MTV sponsored the fundraiser, and that he also failed to register the charity with state officials.
Currently, Michel is involved in a bid to purchase New York's Plaza Hotel, Dream Downtown and London's Grosvenor House Hotel. Negative publicity such as this could not come at a more inopportune time.
The plot thickened when Michel shot back with a $30 million defamation lawsuit.
So which story is accurate?
Accusations as strong as these could mean trouble for a less than above board non-profit. But what if the accusations are unfounded. How would a charity recover from negative press from one of the biggest media outlets in the world?
I reached out to the Hope For Them Foundation hoping to learn more. Founder Mike Jean noted he has already been impacted by this story. He has received numerous calls and emails from friends and supporters who are now questioning his character and the integrity of his foundation.
"My family in Haiti is also getting harassed and a few of my supporters are pulling out from the organization which will result in loss of valuable services to those in need," said Jean.
The Post story mentions the Foundation distancing themselves from Haiti, however Hope For Them has been to Haiti annually since 2011 visiting sick children in hospitals and delivering toys.
Jean also noted the September 11th event was not organized by Pras Michel. The only connection they had with him was in form of a special appearance.
I did a quick search for the Hope For Them Foundation on the New York State Division of Corporations website and found they did indeed register the foundation in 2011.
Jean also stated legal counsel sent a retraction demand letter on October 22nd. They are currently awaiting a reply.