Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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

Search results for "aggressive" ...

  • Lien on Me

    It seemed, at first, to be an isolated case of an aggressive bill collector going after a patient, but six months after KUSA-TV heard an initial complaint, the station’s investigative team found a widespread practice of surgeons using the courts to secure thousands from their patients. The practice has left the hundreds of thousands of people with insurance vulnerable to lawsuits, wage garnishments and property liens. “Lien on Me” has legislators promising change and the region’s largest group of surgeons promising to back off.
  • New Jersey’s Student Loan Program is ‘State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking’

    New Jersey’s student loan agency, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, has some of the most aggressive collection tactics in the industry with few reprieves, even for borrowers who’ve died. ProPublica’s series lays out how HESAA’s loans have unraveled lives – sending many families into financial ruin – to the point they’ve been described as “state-sanctioned loan-sharking.”
  • Mexico's Crackdown on Central American Migrants

    In January and February 2015, In These Times reporter Joseph Sorrentino interviewed dozens of Central American migrants along one of Mexico's main migration routes. He found that a Mexican government initiative to more aggressively police and deport migrants had forced them to take slower and more dangerous routes, leaving them easier prey to robbery, rape, extortion, kidnapping, assault and murder by gangs and narcos. Mexico's stepped-up border enforcement was the result of U.S. pressure on Mexico to halt the "surge" of Central American children reaching the U.S. border.
  • Tucson ministry a cult, former followers say

    An investigation by Arizona Daily Star reporters Carol Ann Alaimo and Emily Bregel revealed that a local ministry, Faith Christian Church, had for decades been aggressively recruiting members on the University of Arizona’s campus, leaving in its wake a trail of traumatized former members who describe the church as a cult. Their stories — told independently over weeks of reporting — were remarkably similar. They included reports of hitting infants who exhibit a “rebellious spirit,” financial coercion, alienation from parents, public shaming of members and shunning of those who leave the church or question its leaders. After leaving, some say they spent years in therapy for panic attacks, depression, flashbacks and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Citation Nation

    In our investigation Citation Nation, we exposed Colorado municipalities aggressively ticketing drivers for financial gain and for survival. In Campo, Colorado we uncovered traffic tickets and court fees bringing in 93% of the town’s revenue. The state average is approximately 4%, based on our extensive analysis of 270 budget reports from every single recognized town and city throughout the state. [https://vimeo.com/150724208] [https://vimeo.com/131464361]
  • Our Financial Mess

    The series explores the confluence of factors led Memphis to the brink of financial disaster: the city's mass exodus and population loss over 40 years, its aggressive and expensive growth-by-annexation policy, its overly generous pension and health benefit packages for employees, the overwhelming costs of public safety. http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/investigations/our-financial-mess-365655741.html
  • The $500,000 Green Card: The EB-5 Visa Program

    A year-long ABC News investigation focused on one of the most obscure paths to a U.S. visa and green card -- one being aggressively marketed to wealthy foreigners, and one that whistleblowers say is being exploited by criminals, spies, and possibly even terrorists. It is the story of the $500,000 Green Card -- a path to legal residency that begins with an offer by a wealthy foreign national to invest half-a-million dollars in an approved project that promises to create American jobs. http://video-cdn.abcnews.com/160106_ire_visas.mp4 http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/fullpage/500000-green-card-eb-visa-program-28662457
  • Serving in Silence: Rape in the National Guard

    The National Guard has consistently claimed it is "working aggressively" to combat rape and sexual assault within its ranks. But in a series of groundbreaking reports, NBC Washington compiled the only source of nationwide data on military sexual assault investigations and their outcomes, finding the National Guard has only dishonorably discharged a single soldier for rape. Using our innovative survey, we exposed how this major component of the military hasn't been tracking critical data, how the National Guard Bureau did everything it could to prevent us from obtaining those records and allowed most offenders to walk free, while destroying the careers of those who were assaulted through retaliation. https://youtu.be/_5iMV0HmOKM http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/Serving-in-Silence-National-Guard-Sexual-Assault-300968551.html
  • The secret world of government debt collection

    CNNMoney’s report, The Secret World of Government Debt Collection, exposes an industry rife with political corruption, aggressive tactics and legal loopholes. In this world, forgotten tolls can snowball into hundreds of dollars in debt and unpaid speeding tickets can land people in jail. We found that thanks to legal exemptions, collectors working for government agencies typically don’t have to follow the main federal law that regulates the debt collection industry, and state consumer protection laws often don’t apply either. All of this opens the door for steep fees that other debt collectors couldn’t dream of charging, and allows them to threaten consequences as dire as arrest. The report focused on one of the industry’s biggest players, Texas-based law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson. Through our reporting, we uncovered this little-known firm’s massive influence and controversial political ties. For example, Linebarger spends more on state lobbying than Texas giants Exxon and Halliburton, and it pours millions of dollars into political campaigns. It even has current elected officials on its payroll and has become entangled in multiple bribery scandals. CNNMoney discovered it is also currently linked to an ongoing FBI investigation. But Linebarger continues to rake in lucrative government contracts, making its top executives and founders rich while the debtors it goes after are left scrambling to pay its steep fees. And because firms like Linebarger are powered by government agencies, consumers are left with little recourse.
  • Serving in Silence: Rape in the National Guard

    The National Guard has consistently claimed it is working “aggressively” to combat rape and sexual assault within its ranks. But in a groundbreaking series of reports, WRC-TV’s seven-part series “Serving in Silence: Rape in the National Guard” exposes how this major component of the military hasn’t been tracking critical data, allowing most of the men who committed the crime to walk free, while destroying the careers of those who were assaulted through retaliation. In the last few years, there have been many stories about sexual assault in the military. But no one, not even Congress, has been able to get real nationwide data on how those crimes are investigated and how they punish offenders. Which is why, after interviewing the highest-ranking women in the National Guard to speak publicly about their assaults, NBC4 broke rank and sent a survey to every Guard unit in the nation asking them how they tackle the problem, what resources they wish they had and what punishments they use. We ultimately created what is now the only public, nationwide source of hard data on military sexual assault investigations and their outcomes, prompting New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand to tell us, “We didn’t even have the basic information. Your survey is the first slice of information we actually have,” for the entire military. “It really shines a light on a huge issue that we don't have the level of transparency and accountability that we need on these serious criminal cases in the National Guard."