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 "developer" ...

  • Spalliero's Empire

    Developer Anthony Spalliero was charged and indicted by a federal grand jury in 2005 for bribing the former mayor and others in exchange for building and zoning approvals. Although the Asbury Park Press reported on Spalliero's close involvement with local officials since 2003, after his arrest the Press unearthed thousands of pages of documents detailing lawsuits, regulatory records, land transactions and other information detailing Spalliero's empire. Among other findings, the four-day series revealed that Spalliero maintained two families at once, videotaped a pornographic movie of a girlfriend having sex with another man, violated building laws and broke agreements with business partners.
  • Lifestyles of the Rich and Subsidized

    Kansas City offers an array of tax breaks for housing developers. This story questions whether the city has been too eager to provide assistance. Incentives that have saved historic buildings and provided affordable apartments in the past are now applied to condominiums that cost $700,000. In the case of one luxury condominium, the city suspended property taxes despite the fact that taxes had fallen 73 percent in recent years. The story also describes instances in which a city agency granted incentives to a developer with a criminal past and to a "historic" building built in the 1970's.
  • 'Mess' for Ware

    This story is an in-depth report on Green Farm Resort, a 2,300 acre development in Kentucky, where a dispute between developers -- including colorful Dallas personality Sam Ware -- resulted in broken promises for owners of 400 lots.
  • KC Federal Housing Series

    A follow-up to an Oct. 2004 series, this investigation uncovers misspent federal housing dollars intended to benefit lower income families. Among their findings was a sale in which a local developer made a $156,000 profit by flipping the property the same day; a home-repair program which took advantage of home owners; and sweet heart loans to local politicians and business owners.
  • State Land Deal

    Real estate developers used their close contacts to Polk County and Des Moines city officials to buy publicly subsidized land outside the city for little money, and then sell it back for an 866 percent profit. Part of the land was then used by the county to build a new driver's license renewal office. However, since it was the only one in the county, the public not only paid an 866 percent mark-up for the land, but also must now travel farther, at greater inconvenience, in order to visit the office.
  • Cash Cows

    This series examines some examples of misuse of a 1959 Florida law called the "greenbelt" law, which was designed to help farmers stay in business. Now it is exploited by developers who use it as a tax break and deprive local governments of taxes that could be used for schools, police departments and other public services.
  • Losing Ground

    The Express-News found that an obscure Texas law involving "vested rights" was allowing developers to do clear-cuts on forested lands and watersheds in defiance of city codes. These practices endanger the sometimes fragile environment of the scenic Texas hill country.
  • The corruption of Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham and the congressional system that permitted that corruption

    Stern reveals that Rep. Cunningham sold his California house to a defense contractor at an inflated price that turned out to be a $700,000 bribe--one of many payoffs that ended the Congressman's career and sent him to prison. Copley News Service and San Diego Union-Tribune reporters detail Cunningham's involvement with a shady developer in New York and a small, well-connected defense contractor in San Diego. The reporters also shed light on the explosion of earmarks in federal legislation and how this development led to corruption like Cunningham's.
  • The Deputy Mayor and the Olympics

    Although Bloomberg accepted no campaign contributions since first running for New York City mayor in 2001, Bernstein shows that his deputy mayor, Daniel Doctoroff, represented a conduit for donations from bankers, real estate developers and others with economic interests. While leading NYC 2012, an organization established to raise funds to bring the Olympics to New York, Doctoroff convinced many people who wanted to do business with the city of New York to donate to his pet organization.
  • How Developers Cash in on Farmland; Law Fails to Save Florida Farmland; Appraisers Lax in Tax Break Scrutiny

    The authors examined Florida's "Greenbelt" law, which is designed to help farmers stay in business. The authors found, though, that the law is ineffective and ends up costing local governments a lot of money. Developers use the law as a tax break, and consequently the law is "one of the weakest preservation programs in the nation."