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Posted January 9, 2004
Is Pierre Imbert a 'Grand crook' or working for the betterment of destitute Haitians?
By Jacques Dady Jean

Haitian-born Pierre Imbert and Yves Montima are the masterminds behind SEED, Inc., a so-called non-profit corporation that has raised more than a million dollars over the past two years supposedly to assist farmers in the countryside of Haiti.

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Raising a million dollars to provide financial assistance to farmers in the most impoverished island of Haiti is such a noble cause, anyone would believe that Imbert and Montima would ring the bell to gather their troops of opportunistic Creole TV and Radio reporters to break the news informing their countrymen about one of the most important achievements of their lives; surprisingly, the comrades have sadly kept the whole scenario secret and continue to avoid any conversation about Seed, Inc. In July of 2003, when a free-lance writer first broke the story of SEED, Inc. in Mattapanonline.org about the possible swindling of funds donated to the Haitian Multi-Service Center/ Catholic Charity, Imbert’s first response was to deny the existence of SEED, Inc., although an extensive investigation proved that he was a founding member and served as the executive director.

Half a year later, through statements made by Attorney Robert Parker, representing SEED, Inc., Pierre admitted that he is an officer in the organization and also serves as a director. Imbert’s organization has raised more than one million dollars during the past two years. In a sharp contrast, Pierre Imbert has been the executive director of the Haitian Multi-Service Center/ Catholic Charity for nearly 10 years and during the last five years Imbert has led the Bicknell Street organization into an economic disaster that threatens the existence of the institution. In the Haitian community of Boston, SEED,Inc or SEED Haiti Community Development Loan Fund is perceived as a ghost organization that was founded in 1999 and has grown unnoticed in the shadow of the Haitian Multi-Service Center/ Catholic Charities, sharing executive directors, board members, contacts and ideas to become a giant serving as a ploy to dupe non-profit funds donated to Catholic Charities.

Oddly, Imbert’s best friends and his closest teammates at the Haitian Multi-Service center swear that they have never heard about this 5-year-old organization until last year when Ms. Bynoe revealed in an article published in mattapanonline.com, allegations made by two individuals relative to $25,000 and $25,480 donated to Catholic Charities that would have been funneled to Seed Haiti Community Development Loan Fund. Further investigation has proven that the information was accurate. SEED, Inc. has raised over $900,000; most of the contributors made anonymous direct cash donations to the Haitian Multi-Service Center. Since Imbert is playing the role of director for both HMSC and his ghost organization it is easy to allocate these anonymous donations to SEED, Inc.

Pierre Imbert is best known as a shabby executive director who has failed the Haitian community by leading the Haitian Multi-Service Center into chaos. In contrast, in less than two years he has convinced multi-million dollar corporations such as Home Depot, Microsoft and Cisco System to donate thousands of dollars in grants to SEED-Haiti.

If at the Haitian Multi-Service Center Pierre Imbert chooses to surround himself with an inefficient rubber stamp board, he certainly seems to know how to put together a go-getter team to raise money on behalf of his Seed-Haiti.

What about SEED,Inc?

According to a public record, SEED, Inc. or Seed-Haiti would be a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds on behalf of community development projects in Haiti. In fact SEED, Inc. has raised more than a million dollars in the name of fighting poverty in Haiti; though there is not yet a single report available to justify the distribution and the use of these funds.

When Hazel Bynoe, a 70-year-old freelance writer reported the allegations of donors who claimed that their donations to Catholic Charities were swindled and funneled to this phantom organization, members of the Haitian community of Boston were stunned. They have never heard of it before.

Despite that the names of Pierre Imbert and Yves Montima were listed as founding members of Seed, Inc, for months, these individuals have attempted to deny the credibility of the report and have avoided to answer questions from local journalists about SEED, Inc. Montima himself has used several tactics, including physical threats to intimidate members of mattapanonline.org.

MO investigators contacted several leaders in Hinche, a town of Plateau Central Haiti, where, according to state reports, SEED, Inc. claims to have invested nearly half a million dollars, the farmers have taken the information as an unpleasant joke. Still, the community of Boston is expressing their desire to find the whereabouts of the non-profit funds donated or borrowed to these Haitian organizations, the name of these organizations and their address in Haiti. The peasant leaders claimed that the largest grant that they ever received is $10,000 from USAID.

SEED, Inc.’s organizational structure, his way of conducting business and the attempt of his members to conceal critical information about its financial management (as reflected in a report obtained from the Attorney General’s Office) induce ambiguity and furious apprehension among Haitians.

“Do any of these funds ever get used for the purpose of helping Haitian farmers?” said Enock Joseph while surfing the Internet at the Mattapan public library. Joseph fled Haiti last summer to escape from violence after members of mouvman peyizan papay burned down his house. There are several issues that cast doubt on Imbert and Montima’s secret organization, just to mention a few: records show that Seed Haiti Community Development Project borrowed $433,000 from SEED, Inc. while both the borrower and the lender have the same board members and the same officers and even used the same federal ID number. How was this transaction done? Was the funds really transferred to Haiti; actually how can the U.S. Government allow this to happen? In 2001, the Attorney General’s Office has questioned the financial report of SEED, Inc. Imbert claims that his organization has a web site. Haitians have just begun to experience surfing the internet, most Haitians still rely on Radio for news, as a matter fact, Pierre Imbert is a frequent guest on several Haitian radio shows and even sponsors his own radio show. Why he has never even whispered about his wonderful loan fund on behalf of the small Haitian entrepreneurs. Last year SEED, Inc. officially adopted the name of its shadow and became Seed Haiti Community Development Loan Fund creating again more confusion. Since SEED, Inc. and its clone melted into one organization Seed-Haiti does not have to pay back the loan.

Another creation of Pierre Imbert’s master brain team is Astral co-op, Astral co-op also borrowed $125,000 for the purpose of funding community development projects in Haiti. Noting that these borrowers have not provided any security for these loans. Seed Haiti and Astral Co-op’s are not registered as cooperatives under Haiti laws and regulations pertaining to foreign investment. A good conspiracy is a conspiracy that cannot be proven, for that reason some dishonest people hire lawyers in their crime planning process to commit action that can be harmful to members of our society. With all due respect for those who have scarified their time and volunteered their expertise to this endeavor and good faith citizens who have contributed their funds with hopes to make a difference to the Haitian people, this corporation SEED, Inc. is a bogus organization.

Imbert can hire the best accountants and best lawyers to file proper documentation to meet the state and federal corporate standards and comrades to write letters on his behalf. However, SEED, Inc. will remain morally wrong in the opinion of our community until proven that the non-profit funds were used for the purpose for which they were donated.

Wehaitians.com, the scholarly journal of democracy and human rights
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