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Poorly rated nursing homes got HUD-guaranteed mortgages anyway

Hundreds of the country’s worst nursing homes have received mortgages backed by The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity.

HUD requires nursing homes applying for construction and rehabilitation loans to provide quality reports. Still, an analysis of loan and ratings data found that the number and volume of one-star facilities receiving HUD insurance climbed every year from 2009 to 2012.

Records show troubled stockbrokers often cluster near the affluent and elderly

Stockbrokers who’ve been in trouble with regulators tend to cluster in certain places in the country where the affluent and elderly are easily accessible and where regulatory punishment is lax, a Wall Street Journal data analysis shows. The Journal found these hotspots in south Florida and Long Island, long known as havens for troubled brokers, but also in places around Detroit, Las Vegas and parts of California. The Journal’s analysis, showing a total of 16 such hotspots, came after the reporters pieced together stockbroker records from 27 states detailing the disciplinary and employment histories of about 550,000 ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Child abuse deaths unheeded, strawberry pesticides, habitual drunk driving

Nursing homes unmasked: Who owns California’s nursing homes? | Sacramento Bee
As private investment groups scoop up an ever-larger share of the nation’s skilled-nursing care market, it has become increasingly difficult to decipher who owns the nation’s largest chains.

Elder-care advocates will tell you this is no accident: A convoluted ownership structure, they say, is a way for owners to hide assets and shield themselves from civil and criminal liability when patients are abused or neglected in their care. Confusing lines of ownership also make it harder for regulators to detect worrisome patterns of care among facilities within ...

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How one of the EU's smallest states helps foreign businesses save millions

Luxembourg, one of the EU's smallest nations, boasts both a massive GDP per capita and an incredibly lucrative haven for multinational corporations to set up a small branch. In the case of Shire, a specialized drug company has its smallest location in Luxembourg, but it's one of the company's most financially successful in the world. Many familiar multinational corporations such as Pepsi, Ikea, Dyson, Heinz and FedEx have used similar techniques to Shire to make these branches as lucrative as possible.

An article from The Guardian explains in great detail the convoluted processes used by Luxembourg officials ...

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North Carolina superintendent’s extravagant spending under investigation by auditors

Spa treatments, unused airplane tickets and rental convertibles are only the tip of the iceberg in questionable spending by administration and faculty of Granville County Schools in North Carolina. The investigation was initiated by the former superintendent's salary of $193,000, which is almost $40,000 over the average salary for superintendents in North Carolina. In an article from WRAL News, the suspicious purchases charged to school-issued credit cards are explained in detail.

The main culprit who sparked the ongoing investigation, former Superintendent Tim Farley, attempted to justify his purchases with explanations such as clicking the wrong button on ...

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Maryland alcohol deliverymen discovered drinking on the job

While reporting on a story related to county alcohol deliverymen, the Channel 4 NBC Washington I-Team noticed suspicious activities from the driver and "helper" in the delivery truck they were following. The men would take long breaks in private houses to eat and sleep, while leaving thousands of dollars of alcohol unattended on the side of a public road. When they were spotted more than once with Styrofoam cups in their hands before and during their drives, the journalists' suspicions were raised even more.

A confrontation with the drivers was prompted by finally witnessing the deliverymen pouring drinks out of ...

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INN members find top election ‘Power Players’

NJ Spotlight

They are heirs and heiresses, self-made millionaires and philanthropists. They are health care CEOs, financial analysts, venture capitalists, general contractors, scientists, authors and lawyers.

They are some of this nation's biggest "Power Players."

The Investigative News Network and some of its member newsrooms have taken a unique look at the largest campaign finance donors from each of these states to candidates and committees in federal elections and all 50 states.

INN used data from two of its members, the National Institute for Money in State Politics and the Center for Responsive Politics, to analyze the top individual ...

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Mishandling of Hurricane Sandy Reveals Questionable Red Cross Leadership

In a joint investigation of the Red Cross by ProPublica and NPR, numerous problems were found in the non-profit’s handling of Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy. After Gail McGovern took over the organization in 2008, many local employees were laid off across the country, shifting more of the Red Cross’ power to its executives in Washington.

The non-profit’s own self-reports highlight major mistakes during the two disasters, the most controversial being the commandeering of emergency vehicles and personnel during times of need to serve as backdrops to press conferences and publicity stunts. Other major concerns involve untrained volunteers, wasted ...

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After prank, West Virginia trooper fatally shot uninvolved 18-year-old boy

The Charleston Gazette combed through hundreds of pages of investigative documents to recount the night an 18-year-old died after an altercation with a West Virginia state trooper.

Timmy Hill was shot twice, once in the head and once in the chest, after a struggle with Senior Trooper B.D. Gillespie. Gillespie had gone searching for the teens responsible for pranking him by putting wet underwear on his cruiser earlier in the night. Although Hill wasn’t involved, he’d met up with the teens who were.

The Gazette’s story uses interviews, photos and documents presented to a grand jury ...

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Denver jail's Taser use at odds with federal guidelines

Denver Sheriff Department deputies are relying on their Tasers to force compliance with their orders by inflicting pain on inmates, according to a report by the Denver Post.

The Post obtained the 14 Taser cases so far this year through a public records request. An analysis found that deputies are using the stun guns outside federal guidelines and against the department’s own use-of-force policy.

In at least six of the incidents, the inmate who was shocked had been experiencing some sort of mental health episode.

For the full story, click here.