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 "developers" ...

  • 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.
  • ProPublica: Civil Wrongs

    Nowhere has the Trump administration's pullback on civil rights been more pronounced or damaging than in education. Under Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Education Department has deep-sixed thousands of civil rights complaints — especially those alleging systemic discrimination by school districts and colleges. In their series, "Civil Wrongs," reporters Annie Waldman of ProPublica and Erica L. Green of The New York Times exposed the department's indifference, and the toll on African-American, Latino, and Native American students from Virginia to Montana. Their work has already had significant impact, and is likely to be even more influential in 2019 as Democrats who now control the U.S. House of Representatives tackle DeVos’ civil rights record. Alongside their reporting, the team, which included news app developers Lena Groeger and David Eads, created two interactive databases: one allowing readers to look up civil rights investigations into their school districts and colleges and another illustrating racial disparities in educational opportunities and discipline.
  • OCCRP: Paradise Leased: The Theft of the Maldives

    Maldives tourism isn’t all swaying palm trees and white sand beaches. The truth is something far uglier. Thanks to a trove of leaked files, OCCRP reporters have uncovered the details of an audacious multi-million dollar scheme that saw dozens of Maldivian islands leased out to developers in no-bid deals — and the money then stolen. While local tycoons and international investors cashed in, the people of this island paradise in the Indian Ocean saw precious little. The revelations also include fresh evidence that implicates the Maldives’ authoritarian president, Abdulla Yameen, in the scandal.
  • Detroit Free Press squatters

    The Detroit Free Press found a politically connected charity that was supposed to help hundreds of squatters was evicting them and flipping their houses to developers for thousands in profit, and that Detroit has the worst squatter problem in the nation.
  • Vermont Ski Resort Developers Accused of Misusing $200M in ‘Ponzi-like‘ Scheme

    VTDigger began exposing allegations of fraud at a ski resort in northern Vermont two years before the Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges last April against the developers in what is now the largest EB-5 immigrant investor fraud case in the nation’s history. After the story broke, we investigated how the state of Vermont failed to protect investors.
  • How Cash Sent the Portland Housing Market Spinning

    Cash is king in red-hot Portland real estate, representing a full one-third of single-family home sales in 2014. Lee van der Voo’s seven-part series on the Portland housing market has uncovered in stark outline the often-obscured influence of cash from developers, foreign buyers and Wall Street in driving affordable housing from the city. Twenty-six investors who purchased more than 10 homes for cash in the listed market in Multnomah County through the recession. Average Black and Native American households priced out of the city. A publicly traded company that is renting out more than 200 Portland-area homes in a new twist on the asset-securitization that drove the Great Recession. The pension funds of teachers and police officers invested in cash-rich Wall Street landlords who compete on the housing market with the very middle-class professionals whose pensions they hold. With van der Voo’s reporting, an economic crisis that everyone in town talked about but no one could explain was given names, faces and numbers — and a hope of being fixed.
  • Cory Briggs

    This series dug deep into the legal and ethical practices of San Diego attorney Cory Briggs who built a business and a reputation suing developers, municipalities and state and federal agencies in the name of the little guy. The results found major undisclosed conflicts of interest (which immediately resulted in a $143,000 reimbursement for taxpayers), a web of more than 40 nonprofits used as shell companies, highly questionable business practices, discrepancies in personal land deals and close business ties to the people he sues.
  • Data Center Dud

    This report uncovered the story behind a $1 billion data-center proposal at Rowan University in New Jersey that officials rejected before the public learned of it. The Rowan project failed in 2011, and the reasons why later became relevant in Delaware, where the state's largest university was weighing a nearly identical plan from the same developers -- complete with a 279-megawatt, gas-fired power plant, and backed by top Delaware politicians and $7.5 million in public funds.
  • Obama Aide, Daley Pal Cash In On Chicago FBI Building Project

    The FBI is paying about $280 million in rent and operating expenses over 14 years for a 10-story Chicago office – more than double what it cost to build the structure. What's more, politically connected developers made big money on the deal. Among the beneficiaries: Penny Pritzker, a top campaign fundraiser for President Obama who later appointed her U.S. Commerce secretary.
  • Building debt: $2 billion in bonds approved in districts formed by developers

    The story is about a series of obscure government agencies that are quietly building up more than $2 billion in debt in Denton County, Texas. The county ranks fifth among Texas counties with 62 and first in North Texas of the little-known special water districts, a type of government entity used by developers to finance infrastructure for residential and commercial developments. The story reveals how the districts debt and numbers proliferated after the state decided to halt related investigation and they deemed the investigations a waste of government resources.