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 "tax fraud" ...

  • Many Unhappy Returns: Georgia recoups up to $6.4M after WSB-TV tax fraud investigation

    In what’s turned out to be the largest tax fraud case of its kind in state history, Georgia is beginning to recoup $6.4 million from taxpayers who submitted returns with inflated refunds, based on the schemes of a longtime tax preparer who also happens to be a local elected official. The state investigation was launched after WSB-TV dug into that official's past and uncovered a trail of civil fraud judgments, tax liens, taxpayer complaints and investment schemes. She had escaped any real consequences, until now.
  • Borrowing Trouble

    For years, Chicago taxpayers have been paying an exorbitant price for the faulty financial decisions of school officials – only they didn’t know it. Not surprisingly, leaders of the city’s public schools weren’t advertising the high costs of the losing bets they had placed in a risky debt market. Over the life of the deals, Chicago Public Schools will likely end up paying $100 million more than it would have if officials had stuck with traditional fixed-rate bonds. The story implicated state lawmakers, the school district's financial advisors, and the current school board president in the disastrous deals.
  • D.C. Tax Office Scandal

    The District of Columbia struck an unprecedented number of deals behind closed doors this year with prominent commercial property owners who had appealed their tax assessments, reducing the city's tax base by $2.6 billion. The settlements were kept from the public for months until The Washington Post started mining public records and filing FOIAs, which the city routinely denied until the newspaper's lawyers got involved. The Post also learned that city leaders had kept critical internal audits about the tax office in "draft" format to prevent their release under FOIA. Through sources, The Post obtained the undisclosed reports -- along with a dozen other audits that had been kept from public view -- and published the findings for the first time. The series prompted the City Council to change the law to require the tax office to immediately make public all of its reports -- bringing a new level of transparency to a once secretive agency. The Securities and Exchange Commission also launched a probe to see if the city had kept critical findings from audits used to determine bond ratings. The inquiry is ongoing.
  • Investigating the IRS

    As the national deficit soared, WTHR exposed fraud, confusion and government mismanagement that resulted in illegal immigrants getting billions of dollars in improper tax credits and refunds from the Internal Revenue Service. WTHR gained unparalleled access to tax records and immigrant communities to show exactly how the fraud was committed. The investigation revealed the IRS had known about the widespread problems for a decade but failed to act, and that IRS managers actively encouraged their tax examiners to ignore blatant signs of fraud. WTHR’s investigation quickly gained national attention, attracted more than 9 million online views, sparked intense debate and action by Congress, and triggered immediate reforms by the IRS. Following a series of in-depth follow-ups by WTHR and an Inspector General audit that confirmed all of WTHR’s findings, the IRS announced final rule changes in December designed to reduce the massive fraud and to save taxpayers billions of dollars.
  • Grave Mistakes

    An investigation showing how the database of deceased Americans created in 1980 under the Freedom of Information Act accidentally lists thousands of Americans as deceased, suffering frozen bank accounts, refused credit cards, denied student and mortgage loans, or arrests for suspected identity theft. It also exposes how identity thieves have learned to use the filed to commit numerous acts of identity theft for tax fraud.
  • Mining For Dollars

    The Arizona state mine inspector Doug MArtin had been indicted on charges of theft, fraud, and procurement code fraud. This report unveils the inspector's abuse of state tax dollars for his own personal well being, and that the inspector isn't even doing the job he was hired to do.
  • Free Housing

    This investigation revealed that local governments in the Kansas City area were allowing public employees -- and in some cases, their friends -- to live in government-owned housing rent-free. In one instance, this arrangement was referred to as a perk that should have been subject to taxation, but wasn't declared to the IRS.
  • Prison Tax Fraud

    This investigation found that prisoners serving long sentences at high security prisons are taking advantage of the US government by filing false tax returns. The prisoners claim to be working at a defunct business and submit tax returns. Most prisoners involved in the scam receive a refund. The investigators found that this scam has been around for a long time, and many prison officials were aware of it.
  • "The PGE Papers"

    Jaquiss' investigation into the proposed sale of Portland General Electric, Oregon's largest utility, revealed information from inside sources that sank the deal. While Texas Pacific Group, a private equity firm, publicly promised to keep PGE intact and not try to flip it quickly for big profits, internal documents revealed their real intentions were exactly the opposite. Jaquiss also revealed a tax scam in which hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes were collected from rate-payers but never turned over to the government. Also included are stories from other sources that cover the effects of Jaquiss' reporting.
  • Sheriff Barrett Investigation

    This investigation used campaign contributors, background discussions and county records to uncover major fraud in the Fulton County Sheriff Department. The reporters found out that the sheriff invested millions of tax dollars in an "illegal investment scheme."