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 "counterfeit" ...

  • The Real Question

    Our 4 1/2-month investigation uncovered how The RealReal, a high-profile $1.5 billion public company that bills itself as the world's largest online marketplace for luxury merchandise, does not have experts authenticating every item as the company claims, leading to obvious counterfeits being sold on the website.
  • The Double-Dealers Behind China's Counterfeiting Industry

    Drawing on exclusive sourcing and hundreds of pages of legal documentation from four countries, this AP investigation examines why counterfeiters in China, the source of most of the world’s counterfeit goods, are winning the costly fight against fakes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxwJ1DLuveM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0KhDejOWkg
  • ABC News 20/20 Brian Ross Investigates: Confessions of a Counterfeiter

    In an exclusive interview, master counterfeiter Francois Bourassa told ABC News Chief Investigative correspondent how he was able to produce millions in near perfect U.S. $20 bills, following security measures widely publicized on the U.S. Secret Service’s own website. The investigation by ABC’s Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross and Producers Rhonda Schwartz and Michele McPhee found that most modern currencies are manufactured from hard to counterfeit polymer materials while the U.S. twenty is still printed on easy to purchase cotton and linen paper. The U.S. Secret Service has refused comment, but Canadian authorities who arrested Bourassa say investigations into his international connections continue. Meanwhile as the U.S. is awash in counterfeit twenties, it’s the small merchants and consumers stuck with the fake small bills that banks won’t cash who are the real victims.
  • Hyderabad Debates Health Insurance Model as Public Hospitals Decay

    Andhra Pradesh province in southeast India is ground zero for a series of ambitious public health programs aimed to make affordable healthcare available to the rural poor. However, when these families travel to the city to find medical treatment, they must navigate a treacherous path through counterfeit pills, medical fraud, and hidden costs. An epidemic of farmer suicides bears witness to the heavy toll that unpayable medical bills incurred at private hospitals can take on families living hand to mouth in the Indian countryside. This tragedy has added desperation to the search for solutions. One such solution is the Aarogyasri Health Insurance Program, which uses India's ration card system to provide poor families access to healthcare. But is this program enough? The gleaming new medical equipment of private hospitals in Hyderabad may be open to poor families from the countryside thanks to programs like Aarogyasri, yet below this photogenic surface is a culture of medical fraud and ration card forgery. The changes in India's healthcare system must be more than skin-deep if farmers are to spend their earnings on food for their families rather than medical bills.
  • Hansen Files-Supplements

    Dateline NBC exposed how unsafe practices in the booming dietary supplements industry – and lax government regulation – are allowing poisonous products to reach store shelves. Digging deep into government records, product recalls, criminal counterfeiting cases, plus state and federal civil court files, Dateline documented actual examples of dangerous products and falsified test results. In one case, workers at U.S. supplement maker used five-gallon buckets and women’s pantyhose in an attempt to filter suspicious black flecks out of a liquid vitamin supplement bound for retail stores – including GNC. Dateline’s investigation didn’t stop at reviewing records. In a hidden camera sting, Dateline exposed so-called “dry-labbing” – the practice of certifying products without really testing them. Dateline set up its own supplement company, created sample products, deliberately spiked them with poisons, and then hired labs to test them. One lab specializing in supplements missed every poison – and told correspondent Chris Hansen the dangerous products were safe to sell. In spite of these documented threats to public health, federal officials acknowledged that labs that test dietary supplements are neither licensed nor inspected.
  • Crime Inc: Counterfeit Goods

    The story gives viewers a rare look at the production and sale of counterfeit goods. Viewers hear the story of a company whose brand was copied as well as that of a defense contractor who made counterfeit defense parts used in Iraq.
  • The Cloning Scam

    "It is estimated that 37 thousand stolen vehicles are cloned every year in Brazil." To do so, they must use fake documents to pass car inspections, which allow them to receive counterfeit plates. To reveal all this activity, the reporter had to befriend these people and act as one of the gangs involved in the cloning scam. Also, the reporter learned how these criminal acts work and what it takes to pull this all off.
  • Bitter Pills

    "Medicines for cancer, cholesterol, blood pressure - even the front-line defense against bird flu - are being counterfeited by international rings." Dateline NBC examines how "loopholes in existing government regulations have allowed the fakes to reach U.S. drug stores - even major chains like CVS and Rite Aid." The investigation into this potential health risk found, among other things, a cocaine smuggler who now counterfeits Lipitor "because there was less risk and more money." Also, photos of counterfeit operations revealed some "based in caves, others using drywall, cement and highway paint among their ingredients."
  • Crossroads of Crime

    "In a two part series, Trish Regan investigated counterfeiting (Part I) and terrorist fundraising (Part II) in the wild-west jungle town of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. Although Ciudad del Este is largely unknown to Americans, intelligence officers regard the region as a lawless frontier, which is perhaps the most dangerous place in the Western Hemisphere. Located deep in the heart of South America and known as the tri-border region because it borders Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, Ciudad del Este has become a safe haven for counterfeiters and terrorist organizations."
  • Dangerous Doses: How Counterfeiters are Contaminating America's Drug Supply

    Eban writes about how medicine available from seemingly trustworthy sources like pharmacies and hospitals is sometimes not safe. The book shows how stolen, expired, mishandled or adulterated medicine cans still make their way into pharmacies and hospitals because they are passed through several other companies who buy and sell to one another. These companies sometimes have ties to drug traffickers and organized crime.