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 "billionaire" ...

  • Opportunity Zones

    Trump’s only significant legislative achievement was his 2017 tax code overhaul. It contained a provision to help the poor, called “opportunity zones.” In 2019, ProPublica showed that while the benefits to the poor have not yet materialized, some people have already reaped the rewards: the wealthy and politically connected. We found that wealthy developers lobbied government officials and got their long-planned investments in luxury projects included in the program, despite its avowed goal of attracting new investment into poor areas. Critically, two of our stories feature areas that never should have been qualified for the program in the first place, but were allowed in by a deeply flawed implementation of the law by the U.S. Treasury Department. They were then selected by state governors after lobbying efforts by wealthy developers. Our articles, along with those of other outlets, led to Congressional calls for investigations into the designation process, as well as proposed reforms to make the program more transparent and to eliminate potential abuses by investors.
  • Trump Taxes

    Shattering Trump’s myth of self-made billionaire, an exhaustive inquiry showed how his father’s real estate fed him $413 million, relying on dubious tax dodges.
  • Panama Papers

    The Panama Papers investigation reveals the offshore links of some of the globe’s most prominent figures. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and more than 100 other media partners spent a year sifting through 11.5 million leaked files to expose the hidden financial dealings of world leaders, fraudsters, gangsters, drug traffickers, billionaires, celebrities, sports stars and more. The investigation revealed companies that helped fuel Syria’s deadly air war and a network of people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin that secretly moved as much as $2 billion through banks and offshore companies.
  • The Mobile-Home Trap

    Billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett controls a business empire that promises low-income borrowers affordable homes, but all too often unsuspecting families, particularly those of color, find themselves locked into ruinous high-interest loans and rapidly depreciating dwellings. http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/the-mobile-home-trap-how-a-warren-buffett-empire-preys-on-the-poor/
  • Dallas' Evil Genius

    In recent years, Texas has shifted responsibility for the disposition of radioactive waste from state agencies to a private entity, Waste Control Specialists (WCS), owned by billionaire Harold Simmons, a major Republican donor.
  • Comrade Capitalism

    In these investigations, Reuters revealed how Putin’s daughter secretly married the son of an old friend of the president; how Putin’s new son-in-law went on to acquire a stake worth $2.85 billion in Russia’s biggest petrochemical processor; how that stake was financed by a cheap loan from a bank run by associates of Putin; and how the petrochemical company is now benefiting from $1.75 billion in cheap state finance. While much has been written about other Russian billionaires, no one has previously succeeded in shedding so much light on the finances of the president’s family. Former KGB officer Putin has long claimed to be a man of modest means, a frugal figure atop the former communist country now plundered by crony capitalism. http://www.reuters.com/investigates/section/comrade-capitalism-2015/
  • Testing Theranos

    Americans have been fascinated with successful entrepreneurs since the days of Horatio Alger. In recent years, Silicon Valley billionaires like Apple’s Steve Jobs, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have become icons. Elizabeth Holmes looked to be next. Claiming she was transforming medicine with her blood-testing company, Theranos Inc., the 31-year-old Stanford University dropout became a celebrity. The New Yorker and Fortune published admiring profiles. Time named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Harvard’s medical school appointed her to its prestigious board of fellows. President Obama named her a U.S. ambassador for global entrepreneurship. Theranos became the nation’s largest private health-care startup, with Ms. Holmes’s stake valued at more than $4.5 billion.
  • The Koch Club

    The Investigative Reporting Workshop's “The Koch Club" focused on the growing influence of the billionaire brothers who now use their foundation arm to extend their economic and philosophical reach through nonprofits, educational groups and universities. It was coupled with a story on their direct influence in Congress regarding climate change.
  • Bad to the Bone

    When four executives of a medical-device company called Synthes went to jail for illegally marketing a bone cement—five patients had died after it was injected into their spines—Mina Kimes knew there had to be a compelling saga behind a case that had generated little coverage beyond local news articles. So she began digging, first with FOIA requests for never-before-published government documents, and then assembling hundreds of pages of court transcripts and internal company e-mails and reports. She used that foundation to begin the harder challenge: persuading Synthes employees, many of them terrified by the criminal case and the company’s intimidating chairman, to talk to her. With six months of grueling, old-fashioned reporting, Kimes succeeded, and “Bad to the Bone” is the masterful result. Not only did she persuade more than 20 current and former company employees to speak, but she also revealed a story whose disturbing breadth far exceeded the case presented in court. Her tour de force reporting raises profound new questions about the culpability of a key figure who wasn’t charged: Hansjörg Wyss, the reclusive and controlling Swiss founder and chairman—one of the richest people in the world—who made crucial decisions about how to sell the bone cement. This is a classic tale of corporate malfeasance: Warned by the government not to sell its bone cement for use in the spine, Synthes ignored the admonition despite clear evidence of lethal danger—a pig had died within seconds when the cement was tested on it—and encouraged surgeons to use the cement on people, five of whom died soon afterward. But “Bad to the Bone” isn’t just an exposé. It opens a window into a broader issue: how the medical system actually runs. Readers see how salespeople with no medical training advise surgeons—inside the OR during operations—on how to use their devices. They experience the tale of one surgeon who continues using the cement even after two of his patients died. Oh, and what sort of justice does Synthes itself receive? Wyss sells it, for $20 billion, to health care giant Johnson & Johnson, which praises Synthes’s “culture” and “values.” Corporate crime. Death on the operating room table. Secret e-mails. Surgeons on the edge. An imperious multibillionaire CEO. It’s a mesmerizing article, and Kimes’s reporting takes readers on a deeply unsettling journey that ensures they’ll never look at the medical system the same way again.
  • The Secret Sins of Koch Industries

    In a four-continent investigation involving 16 reporters, Bloomberg Business News unearthed a multi-decade pattern of crimes and misdeeds by Koch Industries, the company run by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Using never-before-published internal documents and on-the-record interviews with former employees, the article reveals that Koch Industries paid bribes to win contracts in Africa, India, and the Middle East.