Resource Center

Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



Search results for "suspicious claims" ...

  • Bales: Army suspect in Afghan shooting was liable in financial fraud

    On the day that tips arose about a U.S. soldier who may have strafed two Afghan villages, I left the office for a flight to Tacoma. Within 48 hours of the soldier’s being identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, I and two colleagues broke the news that the emerging hagiography of Bales drafted by family and attorneys had more to it than the story of a soldier who enlisted at the ripe of 27 driven by outrage over the 2001 terrorist attacks—and then broken down by an unrelenting cycle of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Our story started with pure spidey senses: Bales’ s family and lawyer said he had left a stockbroker’s career to enlist, as they explained his call to serve. Yet he had not finished college and clearly had financial troubles, I had determined. And he was active in brokerage in the late 1990s in Florida I learned by checking assorted online records—which raised my suspicions about the quick-money penny stock trading that was commonplace then. Based on those instincts, while also doing the running daily story from Bales’ Army base in Washington state, I had checked some online brokerage records and enlisted Julie Tate to look at others and run through civil and criminal filings in Ohio (Bales’s home state and then nationally). Within an hour, I had found one suspicious record and Julie had found others and we were off on a 30-hour run of investigative reporting and boots on the ground interviews that yielded the breaking news of Bales’s more complicated—and less laudatory—past in the period just before he joined the Army. We located and I interviewed an elderly couple who had lost substantial savings in accounts managed by Bales and received copies of detailed financial records that corroborated their claims and showed Bales as the account manager. We also peeled back corporate records for a now-shuttered firm run by Bales and his brother with backing from a longtime friend and reached him to further flesh out the checkered professional history of the Staff Sgt. at the center of an explosive, fast-moving and intensely competitive story. The story demanded intense investigative reporting that netted notable results in far far less than 30 days of a breaking event.

    Tags: U.S. soldier; Afghanistan; military draft; terrorist attacks; deployment

    By Mary Pat Flaherty; Krissah Thompson; Julie Tate

    The Washington Post

    2012

  • What Killed Arafat?

    This 50-minute film was the result of a nine month long cold case investigation into the suspicious death of Yasser Arafat, Palestine's iconic, revolutionary leader. After obtaining Arafat's entire original medical files, Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit, led by producer and reporter Clayton Swisher, crossed continents to track down and interview the French, Jordanian, Egyptian, and Palestinian doctors who had worked to save Arafat's life. Part I of "What Killed Arafat?" was able to easily shatter popular myths about what caused Arafat's precipitous decline from the onset of his illness on October 12, 2004 until his death on November 11th. Testimony from Arafat's doctors conclusively ruled out liver cirrhosis, cancer, even rumors of HIV. The scientific, evidence-based discoveries made in the Part II result from the work performed by a team of forensic pathologists, toxicologists, and radiation physicists from the University Center for Legal Medicine and Institute for Radiation Physics in Lausanne, Switzerland. Working without payment, they agreed to run a battery of sophisticated tests on a large gym bag containing Arafat’s last personal effects. The scientists discovered significant levels of reactor-made Polonium 210 contaminating areas of Arafat's personal effects that came into contact with his biological fluids. When the final results came back in late June, Al Jazeera hosted Mrs. Arafat in Doha to watch the Swiss explain the results on set. Upon witnessing their testimony, Ms. Arafat made a resolute, unanticipated surprise announcement, calling on the Palestinian Authority to exhume her husband's body for testing. Yasser Arafat’s body was exhumed on November 27, 2012 so that the final samples could be retrieved. Whether the causes of Arafat's death are determined to be natural, inconclusive—or even murder—suffice it to say that Al Jazeera’s "What Killed Arafat?" and the resulting investigations and exhumation will have inched the world closer to understanding what did not, and possibly for the first time, what did claim the life of this historic and controversial personality.

    Tags: Science; death; biology; investigation; exhumation; testing

    By Directors: Adrian Billing; Clayton Swisher; Writer: Clayton Swisher; Talent: Clayton Swisher; Videographers: Adrian Billing; Nick Porter; Karsten Sondergaard; Editors: Adrian Billing; Gautam Singh

    Al Jazeera English

    2012

  • Rent a Patient

    In this hidden camera investigation, ABC News Primetime uncovers the nationwide medical insurance scam that sends healthy people to surgery for profit. So far, recruiting people to have unnecessary procedures done has cost the insurance industry billions of dollars in fraudulent claims. Recruiters pull people in with offers of free cosmetic surgery and, in many cases, they are required to have the expensive procedures far from home. "The story resulted in the indictment of one surgery center, where ABC News correspondent John Quinones was offered money to have surgery. On the day our report aired, the FBI raided that facility and three others."

    Tags: medical insurance scams; suspicious claims; healthcare; cosmetic surgery; insurance fraud

    By David Doss;Robert Lange;John Quinones;Ira Rosen;Kim Skeen;Erin Laurence;Jamie Nguyen;Christy Tobin;Alan Esner;Gina Pampinella;Allison Stedman;Bill Anweiller;Sarra Jane Piat-Kelly;Doug Lantz

    ABC News Primetime Live

    2004

  • Slippery Sidewalk Syndrome

    Action News discovered and exposed a suspicious string of lawsuits. Attorney Richard Farber has been bringing slip and fall suits against hundreds of homeowners in Philadelphia. The suspicious element here is his clients' backgrounds. More than half of his clients have criminal histories and almost all of them claim to live in the same 10-block area in Frankford. None of the alleged victims fell in their immediate neighborhood but in another section of town, miles away and many have fallen more than once. In almost every case, there were no witnesses and most of the clients went to the same chiropractor's office for treatment. The attorney refuses to comment. This type of fraud serves as one of the reasons homeowners' insurance in the "City of Brotherly Love" is expensive when compared to other cities in the country.

    Tags: TAPE; sidewalk; lawsuit; fraud; syndrome; slip; fall; chiropractor; attorney; lawyer; victim; homeowner; Richard Farber; Philadelphia; Frankford; criminal history; witness; property owner; insurance; claim

    By Nydia Han;Rob Royal;Luis Lozada

    WPVI-TV (Philadelphia)

    2003

  • 2002 IRE National Conference Show and Tell Tape #3

    1) Valeri Williams (WFAA-Dallas/Fort Worth) WFAA-TV follows up its 2000 IRE Awards entry with this return investigation into Fort Worth's John Peter Smith Hospital. Reporter Williams and producer Schucker continued their investigation, focusing on Dr. Lydia Grotti and her connection to suspicious and overlooked deaths in the emergency room. As a result of WFAA-TV's investigation the Texas Department of Health began conducting its own investigation and discovered additional deaths that took place in the ER. The county district attorney's office called in a special prosecutor to examine a total of eight suspicious deaths in connection with Dr. Grotti at the hospital. 2) Robb Leer (KSTP-Minnesota) An investigation reveals that state adoption laws have loopholes that allow mothers of out of wedlock children to give the babies up for adoption without the father ever knowing. 3) Larry Posner (Inside Edition) An investigation reveals that a Florida man claiming to suffer from a rare conversion disorder that makes him act like a child is actually defrauding the state. 4) Jim Strickland (WSB-Atlanta) An area smoke detector salesman plays off the fears of senior citizens and sells them alarms at an inflated cost. 5) Larry Posner (Inside Edition) An investigation reveals that insurance companies can sell nearly-destroyed cars as though they weren't damaged. The cars are then repaired and end up in the hands of drivers who don't know they're driving dangerous vehicles. 6) Laure Quinlivan (WCPO-Cincinnati) A clip from the hour-long Visions of Vine street documentary on Cincinnati's deteriorating urban core. WCPO-TV tells the story of "Vine Street, the crumbling centerpiece of a neighborhood called Over the Rhine, ground zero for the April race riots that attracted national media attention." 7) (WTTG-District of Columbia) The city's DMV routinely charges two drivers for the same parking ticket or issues illegitimate tickets. The system is so bad that one lawyer spends all his time fighting parking tickets. 8) Vic Lee (KRON-San Francisco) An investigation reveals its not hard for employees at the San Francisco airport to sneak in knives. 9) (CBS 11-Dallas) Workers at a U.S. Post Office in Dallas are shown stealing from the mail. 10) (CBS 11-Dallas) Coverage of a fony charity called Kid Wish USA. The scam took money from donors who thought they were giving to dying children.

    Tags: TAPE; San Francisco; conference; no transcripts; IRE

    By IRE

    IRE

    2002