Successful waterfront developer tops list of property tax scofflaws

A News Tribune investigation revealed the top property tax scofflaws in Pierce County, which included a tiny, emerging development on Tacoma’s waterfront. The investigation involved analyzing 1.3 million records that showed the developer owed nearly $750,000 in unpaid property taxes, almost three times the next-highest taxpayer. Tacoma City Council also helped the developer qualify for…

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California port trucking companies forced drivers into debt, left them with nothing

USA TODAY NETWORK published its first in an investigative series, Rigged, today about the mistreatment of truckers based out of two major California ports.  Port trucking companies buried their poor, immigrant workers in debt, worked them past exhaustion and then left them with nothing. This ongoing investigation shows how executives pressed drivers to lease trucks…

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Carl Icahn’s charity supports education — it also lent him $119 million

More than 1,800 charities have outstanding loans to their officials, a new Wall Street Journal analysis of IRS data shows. Most are small, typically covering cover expenses such as relocation costs and life-insurance premiums. But one loan dwarfs the others: $118.7 million in loans to billionaire Carl Icahn from a charity he started. The loans…

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DFW shut out from hundreds of millions of dollars as state agencies favor Austin staffing vendors

The Dallas Business Journal analyzed every IT staffing record in Texas dating back to 2010 and found that the vast majority of the work goes to Austin and the surrounding areas. Austin staffing firms made nearly $600 million over the time span compared to just $1.4 million by Dallas vendors. The discrepancy starts with the…

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Florida special interests take advantage of “bundling” campaign finance loophole

The Treasure Coast Palm recently published a new piece of an ongoing investigation, outlining how special interest groups have been able to pump extra money into Florida local campaigns. “The LLC loophole” allows these groups to give the maximum of $1000 from each of their subsidiaries or affiliated PACs. Since the campaign finance reports don’t…

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Twin Cities’ checks of Uber, Lyft drivers appear to be hit or miss

A criminal record or history of bad driving won’t prevent people from becoming Uber or Lyft drivers in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Star Tribune identified 176 drivers for the ride-sharing companies and found that nearly a third had committed offenses that violated Uber and Lyft’s hiring standards or violated ride-sharing ordinances in the top…

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Bled dry: How felons and fraudsters ruin hospitals across the U.S.

Virtually anyone can take over a hospital – even fraudsters, career criminals and bankrupt businessmen. In a two-part series, The Dallas Morning News describes how a feeble regulatory system allows crooked operators to seize hospitals, bleed them dry and put patients’ lives in peril. Part one details how a doctor purchased one of the nation’s most remote…

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For years, FieldTurf made millions selling faulty fields

A six-month investigation by NJ Advance Media found that FieldTurf, the leading maker of artificial sports fields, sold an estimated $570 million in product that it knew would not live up to marketing hype or sales promises.  Duraspine was marketed to cities as long-lasting and the best turf money could buy. However, internal emails obtained…

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