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 "businesses" ...

  • Easy Targets

    There are some sixty-three thousand licensed gun dealers in the U.S.—nearly twice the number of McDonald’s and Starbucks combined. But, unlike other businesses that deal in dangerous products, such as pharmacies or explosives makers, most gun stores face no legal requirements to secure their merchandise. As a result, there has been a sharp increase in gun-store thefts. This story focuses on a group of thieves who preyed on gun stores in North Carolina, stealing more than two hundred weapons over a four-month period. The Trace and The New Yorker relied on thousands of public records and more than fifty interviews to track these guns through a network of black-market profiteers.
  • The Texas Observer and Grist with The Investigative Fund: Too Big to Fine, Too Small to Fight Back

    Citgo refineries spew thousands of tons of chemicals into the air, degrading air quality and putting human health at risk. Despite Citgo's revenues hitting north of $40 billion, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality lets the company off easy. For her investigation in The Texas Observer, in partnership with Grist and The Investigative Fund, Naveena Sadasivam dug into how the TCEQ has fined corporate polluters $30 million for air violations, not much more than the $24 million imposed on gas stations, a significant percentage of which are owned by immigrants, just for record-keeping errors. The disparity between TCEQ's treatment of mom-and-pop operations versus large corporations favors those with money and power. The agency rarely punishes big polluters, often because of a legal loophole, and when it does levy a fine, lawyers negotiate big reductions in penalties. As a result, environmental advocates and small business owners say there's a fundamental unfairness at work with the way TCEQ treats the businesses it regulates.
  • Special pardon and PyeongChang...Samsung's Secret Deal

    139 emails shared between Samsung chief executives are exclusively collected, and the first coverage of the fact of Samsung's illegal lobbying in order to host the PyeongChang Olympics was made for the first time both nationally and internationally. The detailed basis of the special pardoning of Chairman Lee Kun-hee was also revealed, exposing the alliance of the government and businesses. The corruption cases of the IOC members that had wielded immense power were also released. Coverage was made on site in Europe and Africa for higher quality.
  • Sign Here to Lose Everything

    How predatory lenders have turned New York's court system into a high-speed debt-collection machine that is destroying small businesses nationwide.
  • Boston Globe: Lawrence Gas Explosions

    After the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts was rocked on Sept. 13, 2018, by natural gas explosions that killed one young man, displaced thousands of residents, and cut off heat and power to homes and businesses for three months, the Boston Globe responded with dozens of daily stories as well as a steady stream of investigative pieces, attempting to tell readers exactly what had happened and why -- and whether the officials working to set things right were up to the task. Here are five early examples of investigative work connected to the disaster.
  • US Tax Havens: The new Switzerland

    Financial Times' Investigations Correspondent Kara Scannell was the first to uncover first hand accounts of how businesses exploit complex trust laws in South Dakota. Her findings, published as "US Tax Havens: The new Switzerland" uncovered a thriving onshore tax haven business. Scannell's shoe-leather reporting gave her unprecedented access to first person sources, including exclusive access to elusive business figures within the shadowy practice. Together with Vanessa Houlder, Scannell's trust law research emboldened a lively, revelatory report that contributed to the ongoing and serious debate over the use and abuse of domestic tax havens.
  • Suffering in Secret

    Illinois steered thousands of its poorest and most vulnerable adults with disabilities into less expensive private group homes and cloaked harm and death with secrecy and silence. The Tribune exposed flawed investigations (two cases were reopened) and revealed how Illinois had publicly undercounted abuse and neglect cases for five years. The Tribune identified 1,311 cases of harm since July 2011 and tracked at least 42 deaths in group homes or their day programs over the last seven years. Additionally, the Tribune uncovered a secretive state practice that allowed group home employees to police their own businesses. The Tribune also detailed a state auction in which group home executives raised hands to select individuals with disabilities to be moved from state facilities into the community. For the first time, the Tribune circumvented state secrecy to show that many group homes were underfunded, understaffed and dangerously unprepared for new arrivals with complex needs.
  • Serbian Government Assets Revealed

    KRIK decided to focus on revealing corruption and crime at the highest levels of power. In late 2015 our team of journalists started to expose the hidden assets of Serbian politicians, as well as their relationship networks and potential wrongdoing. Our first discovery in this field was that Sinisa Mali, the Mayor of Belgrade, has secretly bought 24 resort apartments on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast through offshore companies from British Virgin Islands. This story has attracted huge attention from the Serbian public and it was picked up in all Serbian media. That inspired us to continue to investigate the mayor’s business deals in 2016 but also expand our investigation on other political elites. This one year investigation resulted in publishing a complete database of assets and businesses of all ministers from the new Serbian government in December 2016. https://imovinapoliticara.krik.rs/display/
  • Nuisance Abatement

    An examination of how the New York Police Department has used the little-known nuisance abatement law to threaten thousands of businesses and homes with yearlong closures.
  • Amarillo Economic Development Corporation Travel Expenses

    This series looks at travel expenses from the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) during a three-year period. The AEDC is mostly funded with taxpayer money with the Amarillo city council approving the almost $2 million operating budget. The findings include luxury hotel expenses, purchases of alcohol, meals at high-end restaurants, late check-out fees and rounds of golf. Some receipts were hand-written, unreadable or not itemized. There is little to no oversight of these expenses either by the organization or the city. The AEDC has no “written” policies on travel and the president approves his own expenses. Many of the meals, trips and rounds of golf are considered an investment, but there is no record of who attended because the AEDC says the deals are confidential. The organization has existed for 26 years but has brought in 34 businesses during that time to Amarillo.