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 "federal investigation" ...

  • Indian Drug Company Investigation

    The first part of our story profiled a whistleblower who exposed massive fraud at Ranbaxy, a multi-billion dollar Indian generic drug company that sold adulterated drugs to millions of Americans for years. The company sold these drugs to millions of Americans while lieing to the FDA claiming the drugs worked and could fight such life threatening illnesses like cancer, AIDS, diabetes and infections. The second part of our story revealed that despite the company’s claims, the company has ongoing serious manufacturing problems. In fact, just two weeks after CBS left a Ranbaxy plant in India, the FDA banned all finished drugs coming into the US from Ranbaxy. However, our story also revealed that while the FDA banned all finished drugs, the company is still continues to make the key ingredients for drugs sold to Americans today– including such popular drugs as Astra Zeneca’s Nexium. At the center of our story was the whistleblower, Dinesh Thakur, who had never done a television interview. The risks that Thakur took in exposing his company led to a massive federal false claims lawsuit that aided the federal criminal investigation and rewarded Thakur with $49 million. According to one federal agent who worked on the case for seven years, without Thakur “there would have been no investigation and no criminal conviction.” We were alarmed to find in our reporting that so many of the key players in the federal investigation had made personal decisions based on what they learned to never take a Ranbaxy drug. Three Justice Department attorneys, six former Ranbaxy employees, one former FDA criminal investigator and two Congressional investigators (Democrat and a Republican) all told CBS News that they would never take a Ranbaxy drug, nor would they allow a family member to do so. Each shared with us personal anecdotes of finding Ranbaxy drugs in family members’ medicine cabinets or receiving a prescription at a drug store only to tell the pharmacist that they must have a different brand. For this reason we felt strongly that it was important to notify our audience of the risks with this company. We also informed our audience that foreign drug makers are not subject to the same strong oversight that drug makers in the US face every day. For example, drug makers in the US face unannounced inspections. Despite efforts to beef up foreign FDA inspections, foreign companies are still notified in advance of upcoming inspections. In the US there is one FDA inspector for every 9 phamaceutical facilities. In India there is one FDA inspector for every 105 facilities. CBS News also tracked down half a dozen other former Ranbaxy employees who told CBS what they witnessed at the company both in the United States and in India. Two top employees went on camera to share their experiences.
  • What Happened to Kendrick Johnson?

    For eight hours a day, six days a week, two grieving parents stand on a South Georgia street corner with homemade signs, family photos and a question: “What Happened to Kendrick Johnson?” January 10, 2013, their 17-year-old son disappeared between classes at his Valdosta high school. The next morning, the three-sport star’s body was found upside down in a rolled mat in the school’s gym. Within hours of finding Johnson’s body, local investigators determined his death was an accident. A state medical examiner agreed and the case was closed. The teenager’s parents never believed the official story but their pleas for outside officials to investigate were ignored. CNN’s Victor Blackwell was the first television correspondent outside the Johnson’s small community to report the story. As other national and international news organizations began to take interest in the story, CNN continued to lead. Blackwell and CNN producer Devon Sayers literally traveled across the country searching for answers. They were the first or only team to report more than 40 major developments in the story. CNN has filed nearly two-dozen requests for open records. Despite strong resistance from local officials, CNN has exposed internal finger-pointing over withheld evidence and a compromised investigation, missing body parts and suspicious holes in school surveillance footage, which CNN successfully sued to obtain. After CNN’s more than 20 reports, each offering exclusive details, the Department of Justice launched a federal investigation into Johnson’s death and the sheriff’s handling of the case. The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office also launched an investigation into a local funeral home’s treatment of Johnson’s corpse. Those investigations are ongoing. Beyond reporting the details of a bizarre and emotional story, CNN’s continued coverage of the circumstances surrounding the death of Kendrick Johnson fulfills a core mission of journalism: It holds those in power accountable.
  • UNO: For insiders, charter schools pay

    This investigation exposed millions of dollars in insider deals made by a major operator of taxpayer-financed, privately run charter schools in Chicago. It prompted: the freezing of state funding; the ouster of the organization's top two officials; two state investigations; and one federal investigation.
  • A Department in Disarray

    In 2013 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette exposed numerous systemic problems in the city of Pittsburgh's 900-member police department, focusing on a lack of oversight over its personnel and finances.
  • WTAE: Where is Pittsburgh's Mayor?

    After Pittsburgh's mayor came under scrutiny during a federal criminal grand jury probe into his administration, WTAE-TV investigative reporter Bofta Yimam requested Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's work calendar for a one-year period. The federal investigation led to the mayor's hand-picked police chief to plead guilty to conspiracy and fraud. Through the official calendar, we hoped to learn more about the mayor’s comings and goings during the period federal investigators are examining. The city, however, denied our request. Our series of ongoing reports showed the difficulty in accessing a public official's calendar in Pennsylvania and highlighted the need for transparency. Through the state's Right to Know law, we filed an appeal and won a decision with the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records. Instead of turning over the records, however, the city Law Department filed a lawsuit against Yimam in the Court of Common Pleas. Now, taxpayers will pay for a court case to keep a calendar private, for a mayor who is under federal investigation and who chose not to run for re-election.
  • The Meth Menace

    Following a significant increase in meth lab seizures in West Virginia, Charleston Gazette reporters revealed that drugstores were selling massive quantities of cold medications that were being diverted to make illegal methamphetamine in clandestine labs. Gazette reporters also found that meth lab cleanup claims were draining the West Virginia Crime Victims Compensation Fund -- a fund initially set up to pay medical and funeral expenses for victims of violent crime. The series sparked a federal investigation.
  • Ticket Inequality

    After racial-profiling allegations in one town led to state and federal investigations of the local police department, we set out to investigate whether minority motorists faced similar discrimination elsewhere in the state. In a first-ever analysis of traffic-stop data recorded by local police departments, we found that black and Hispanic motorists pulled over by police were significantly more likely to be ticketed than white motorists pulled over the same offense.
  • What's killing their children?

    A 19 ACTION NEWS Investigation lasting an entire year expose a cancer cluster killing children in Clyde, Ohio. The federal EPA has now started their own investigation after 19 ACTION NEWS and viewers demanded that the U.S. government step in to help solve this deadly mystery. The federal investigation comes after five years of the state of Ohio failing to find a cause of what has killed six children with more than 30 kids diagnosed with cancer.
  • Executive Privilege

    The former governor of North Carolina, Mike Easley, is the focus of this series. Easley accepted a number of free items such as flights, golf club membership, and a discount on a coastal lot. Further, a new job was created strictly for his wife and Easley cleared a friend of DMV violations. He also was involved with a number of other dishonorable activities, which led to state and federal investigations.
  • A Political Crime Spree

    Reporters worked for years to expose the corruption within the administration of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who rode into office on promises of reform and transparency. Tribune stories unraveled the complex inner workings of the governor and his closest advisers, showing how they rewarded friends and political contributors with state work, how people who did business with the governor's wife got benefits from state government and how politics infiltrated law enforcement and regulatory agencies. These stories helped lay the foundation for a massive federal investigation that eventually led to the governor's arrest.