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 "business" ...

  • Compensating for Mass Murder

    This business feature examines how U.S. communities distribute the private donations given to help mass shooting survivors and victims’ families and how the lack of a national protocol affects locally-based victim compensation decisions.
  • A False Diamond: Reverse Mortgage Series Leads to Statewide Reform

    This series exposed the reverse mortgage/home repair scam Chicago businessman Mark Diamond had perpetrated for decades against elderly black homeowners on the city’s South and West Sides. The project also revealed the civil justice system’s toothlessness and raised pointed questions about how much havoc one person can wreak in the civil sphere before facing any criminal consequences. The project sparked a hearing by a state senator, media pickup, the filing and passage of state legislation and community action.
  • The Mobile-Home Trap

    Billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett controls a business empire that promises low-income borrowers affordable homes, but all too often unsuspecting families, particularly those of color, find themselves locked into ruinous high-interest loans and rapidly depreciating dwellings. http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/the-mobile-home-trap-how-a-warren-buffett-empire-preys-on-the-poor/
  • Profiting from Thrift

    “Profiting from Thrift” by Francesca Lyman is an investigation into how the privately held Savers chain of thrift stores, with hundreds of stores in 30 states, plus Canada and Australia, has profited from a charitable veneer, misleading consumers, drawing the ire of regulators, and even drawing revenue away from public tax coffers. For years the company has been the single largest player in the prosperous and growing industry of for-profit thrift stores, doing $1.2 billion in business annually, but InvestigateWest reporting found its claims about doing good for charities appear to be vastly overblown. http://invw.org/2015/10/28/map-savers-has-stores-in-29-states-across-the-u-s/
  • Univision: A Tall Tale or Un cuento chino in Spanish

    A Tall Tale tells the story of a Chinese businessman who was arrested for drug trafficking after $205 million was seized from his Mexico City mansion and the political and corporate interests that underpinned his prosecution.
  • Mexican Mafia Killer and the LAPD

    This series started off with a tip: Los Angeles police were bringing a high-profile criminal to a private business event in downtown L.A. That criminal turned out to be Rene "Boxer" Enriquez, a former shot-caller for the Mexican Mafia sentenced to life in prison for two killings. That the LAPD would use public resources to bring him to a private event was only the first surprise — we soon learned Enriquez had a cozy relationship with law enforcement officials and was set to be paroled. We spent weeks digging into his background, contacting the children of one of his victims, interviewing people who knew him, reading court records and transcripts outlining his crimes. The reporting by The Times ultimately prompted two investigations by the LAPD, including one into a high-profile deputy chief. The governor also decided to deny Enriquez parole and keep him behind bars.
  • Sole Voter Not Alone

    Property owners in Columbia, Mo., got together to create a tax district to generate money to beautify and enhance safety in the rundown, dated strip of the community that lines Business Loop 70. They gerrymandered the district border, cutting out all residential parcels of land and voters to give the property owners the power to levy a tax with no vote of the people. A KBIA investigation showed there were actually 14 registered voters living in the district. In turn, a vote on a sales tax had to be posed to the 14.
  • Business Donors Shunning McCain for Democratic Candidates

    Republican corporate donors in 2004 are now giving to Democrats or not at all.
  • Deadly failure on the runway

    Less than a week after multimillionaire businessman Lewis Katz consolidated his ownership of The Philadelphia Inquirer in a high-stakes auction, he and six others were killed in a fiery takeoff crash of his Gulfstream G-IV. One month before the National Transportation Safety Board publicly issued its findings, The Inquirer put the readers inside the cockpit for the takeoff roll’s crucial last seconds as the pilots boosted the plane’s speed far above its reputed design limit – and then lost precious moments trying to electronically free the elevator, rather than simply aborting the takeoff. Early reports focused on a lack of required safety checks by the pilots. But that did not account for a central mystery – the plane’s fail-safe system did not prevent the jet from reaching takeoff speed despite their error. The newspaper found that a flaw in the jet’s “gust lock” system - meant to keep the plane’s elevators locked when a jet is parked - allowed the pilots to reach takeoff speed but unable to get lift, a deadly combination.
  • Big Oil and Climate Change

    Even as major oil companies were publicly casting doubt on climate change science, they were quietly taking steps to protect their businesses from its effects.