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 "foundations" ...

  • The Downfall of Theranos

    The Wall Street Journal saved patients from harm by revealing fraud at the heart of one of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies. Were it not for the Journal’s reporting in 2016, tens of thousands of patients would have been put at risk and a company built on fraudulent foundations would still be a Silicon Valley darling. Theranos, a $9 billion laboratory startup, had promised to revolutionize blood testing by drawing just a few drops of blood with a finger prick. It wasn’t close. A team of Journal reporters, in a committed and extensive investigation, exposed how its technology didn’t work, how the company tried to cover up its failures and how patients’ lives were turned upside down and their health jeopardized.
  • Tax evasion in Princeton's eating clubs

    This was an investigation into how Princeton's eating clubs raise millions of dollars to pay for lavish renovations of their social facilities, including taprooms, lounges and dining halls. The investigation found that the leadership of the 12 eating clubs had over time set up a handful of "educational" foundations to hand out tax breaks to their donors. These donations directly violated IRS guidelines. Had the donors given money directly to the clubs, they would have received no tax benefits.
  • Crumbling Foundations

    NBC Connecticut's Investigative team, the Troubleshooters, exposed a consumer protection failure unlike any other previously reported in Connecticut. Our investigation revealed hundreds of homeowners in the northeast section of our state are suffering incredible emotional and financial distress as they watch the concrete foundations supporting their homes crumble. Insurance companies deny their claims and the only option they have to fix the problem is to replace their foundations. That costs them into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Troubleshooters discovered there were warning signs and complaints years ago that got little attention from the state. During the years that have followed, the foundations continued to crack and deteriorate. And all cases we’ve covered appear to have a common connection: the same concrete supply company https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGULaeR47ZE&feature=youtu.be
  • Trashed Trailers

    Contaminated flood waters roared through Northern Colorado mobile home parks in September 2013. When the waters receded, some of the homes were soaked to the rooflines and were knocked from their foundations. Hundreds of the homes were condemned and left to rot and mold for months. Government officials presumed the homes would end up in landfills. However, a six-month 9Wants to Know investigation spanning five counties discovered profiteers were sneaking these mobile homes into new communities, fixing them up without proper building permits and safety inspections, and marketing them to unsuspecting families. 9Wants to Know found government regulators were blindsided by the flood trailer problem due to a tremendous lack of oversight in the mobile home industry. As a result of their investigation, government officials scrambled to identify the flooded homes and bar unsafe housing from their communities.
  • Where Have All the Lawyers Gone?

    “Where Have All the Lawyers Gone?” identifies the shortage of affordable and pro bono legal services in Santa Barbara County and the impact that shortage has on society’s most vulnerable segments such as the homeless and working poor, especially in dealing with civil rights abuses, law enforcement issues, domestic violence, evictions and other legal issues that compound into bigger problems without accessible legal help. The story found that only about one-third of the legal needs of the county’s poor (14 percent of the county’s population lives under the poverty line) were being met. Although the California State Bar recommends that firms provide 50 hours of pro bono work a year, lawyers in the area admitted “there’s never been a culture of pro bono” in the area, and the firms that do participate are more likely to work with non-profits than poor individuals. An investigation revealed a glaring deficit in pro bono and affordable legal care in a town with more than its fair share of nonprofits and foundations dedicated to social issue
  • Deeply Buried Doubts: Errors and Fraud Threaten California’s Costliest Bridge

    This year-long investigation examined construction and testing of the new $6.4 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and found widespread errors and malfeasance. The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is the most costly public works project in California history. Its designers valued one quality above all others: the strength to withstand the strongest anticipated earthquake. This investigation raised questions about the structural integrity of the span that are not easy to answer. It revealed flaws in tests of the main tower’s foundation, chronicled the troubled work history of the technician who conducted many of the tests and had fabricated data on other structures. The series also revealed bridges throughout the state burdened with similar issues – raising calls for new safety examinations. Until contacted by The Bee, the California Department of Transportation had overlooked the problems with the Bay Bridge. But the findings of the initial stories of the series – validated by top experts in the construction and testing of such massive foundations – forced them to act. Two Caltrans employees – the technician and his supervisor – were fired as a result of the Bee stories, prosecutors launched investigations and state legislative committees convened to examine the department’s practices and culture. The stories were based on a review of about 80,000 pages of technical plans, test results, internal emails and personnel documents, and interviews with numerous insiders. The Bee showed how officials failed to conduct a thorough investigation of testing fabrications, years after learning of the problems. After the initial story in 2011 (not part of this award application, but included in the submission for context only), Caltrans’ “peer review” experts examined the Bay Bridge– and gave it a clean bill of health. Piller showed soon after that they were compromised by serious financial and professional conflicts of interest with Caltrans and bridge contractors.
  • Inside Chesapeake Energy

    Chesapeake Energy Corp was one of the great American success stories of recent times. But its charismatic founder, Aubrey McClendon, built his company on shakier ethical and financial foundations than anyone knew. A series of Reuters investigations changed all that, triggering criminal and civil investigations, a dramatic board shakeup and deep falls in the share price with each new revelation — more than $1 billion in secret personal loans for McClendon, his undisclosed $200-million hedge fund run from Chesapeake headquarters, his plot to fix prices for oil-and-gas land with an archrival. These matters came to light in a series of in-depth reports, each documented through meticulous reporting that has gone without challenge. The coverage has been especially significant because of Chesapeake’s outsize influence over energy markets in the United States — where it is the top driller of gas wells, one of the biggest owners of land and the leading champion of the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
  • Big Money 2012

    Big Money 2012 is an unprecedented multi-platform project to investigate campaign finance in the post-Citizens United era. Spanning television documentary, radio and online news outlets, this initiative draws on the award-winning talents of some of the best in the industry to dig deep into a story that goes to the foundations of our democracy. FRONTLINE’s pre-election TV broadcast of Big Sky, Big Money in partnership with American Public Media’s Marketplace formed the center of this multiplatform investigation, Big Money 2012, which continued on the radio and on the web. Further coverage of this timely story also continued online as part of ProPublica’s Dark Money series featuring reporting by ProPublica investigative reporter Kim Barker with Rick Young and Emma Schwartz reporting for FRONTLINE. Big Money 2012 tells a tale of money, politics, and intrigue in the remote epicenter of campaign finance, Montana. The investigation led the teams from big sky country—to a meth house in Colorado and to a UPS store in D.C. as they followed a trail of documents. What they find exposes the inner-workings of a dark money group. In all, it’s a unique collaboration a year in the making, which has led to robust journalism with real impact. And, the story is still unfolding.
  • Big Money 2012

    Big Money 2012 is an unprecedented multi-platform project to investigate campaign finance in the post-Citizens United era. Spanning television documentary, radio and online news outlets, this initiative draws on the award-winning talents of some of the best in the industry to dig deep into a story that goes to the foundations of our democracy. FRONTLINE’s pre-election TV broadcast of Big Sky, Big Money in partnership with American Public Media’s Marketplace formed the center of this multiplatform investigation, Big Money 2012, which continued on the radio and on the web. Further coverage of this timely story also continued online as part of ProPublica’s Dark Money series featuring reporting by ProPublica investigative reporter Kim Barker with Rick Young and Emma Schwartz reporting for FRONTLINE. Big Money 2012 tells a tale of money, politics, and intrigue in the remote epicenter of campaign finance, Montana. The investigation led the teams from big sky country—to a meth house in Colorado and to a UPS store in D.C. as they followed a trail of documents. What they find exposes the inner-workings of a dark money group. In all, it’s a unique collaboration a year in the making, which has led to robust journalism with real impact. And, the story is still unfolding.
  • IKEA-Made in Sweden

    SVT investigates the structure behind the IKEA company, which had never been done before. What was found was massive wealth from avoiding taxes and secret foundations.