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 "land deals" ...

  • Newsday Investigation: Pathway to Power

    In a panoramic, 30,000-word narrative, reporters exposed the underpinnings of Long Island’s corrupt political system through the life of a onetime street hoodlum who would eventually own a castle-like estate that became the Island’s unofficial political clubhouse and the site of a startling attempt on his life. Drilling deep below decades of numbing public scandals, the project is the defining document of how local power works on Long Island, how the public gets exploited and why unscrupulous operators persistently prevail.
  • 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.
  • Deals for Developers, Cash for Campaigns

    Construction cranes can be seen throughout Washington, D.C. Less visible are the symbiotic relationships between land developers and city officials awarding tax breaks and discounted land deals. Those government subsidies are meant to revive neighborhoods, and to create jobs and affordable housing. But in some cases, the benefits never materialized, or the subsidies simply weren’t needed. And what began as a targeted economic development tool now looks to some like government hand outs that could have paid for other city services. A WAMU investigation found the D.C. City Council awarded $1.7 billion in real estate subsidies to 133 groups in the past decade — and more than a third of the subsidies went to ten developers that donated the most campaign cash over that time. What’s more, less than five percent of the subsidies went to the city’s poorest areas with a fourth of the city’s population, and developers failed to deliver on pledged public benefits for at least half the projects examined.
  • Sweetheart Deals

    This investigation looked at "county-owned land deals in Prince George's County. They found that most of the deals - worth millions of dollars - went to people with close ties to County Executive Jack B. Johnson, including a business partner, golfing buddy, a former business partner and campaign contributors. Many of the deals were not put out to bid."
  • Secret Land Deal Topples Top Official

    Palm Beach County Commission Chairman Tony Masilotti used a secret land trust, "shell companies and straw men" to hide his interest in land deals. The Post tells the story of how he made $10 million "using his political influence." The money was never reported on his financial disclosure forms. He was removed from office and erased from the county's Web site.
  • Lease-to-own Mogul

    A series of articles showing that a Florida business man, whose financial and real estate empire was purposely obscured, defrauded hundreds of hopeful home buyers by refusing to sell them houses leased to them under rent-to-own contracts.
  • Insider Trading at City Hall?

    This 11-month investigation linked the mayor, Rick Filippi, to a series of deals for land near the International Paper Co. that was lying vacant. Filippi, along with a few associates, used information from the mayor's office to personally profit from the deals and in one instance offered inside information to a longtime friend and campaign financier, Rolf Patberg.
  • Land Deals

    Newsday's five-part series examines campus land deals involving SUNY Old Westbury campus and finds that "insiders would be main beneficiaries of a plan that would provide little aid to SUNY Old Westbury."
  • Campus Land Deals

    Newsday investigates how a group of political insiders planned to carve up land at the State University of New York at Old Westbury for their own benefit, while providing little for the school or its students. Almost one third of campus land was slated to be broken off for development. Money generated was supposed to go to help the college, one of the neediest in the state university system and the state campus with the highest minority enrollment. The series uncovers that this was not the case. As a result of the series, the official spearheading the development resigned, the SUNY chancellor earmarked $25 million for the school, changes oversight of college councils to prevent abuses, and the state inspector general and comptroller launched their own investigations.
  • Land Deals Help County Commissioner Freeman

    This Orlando Sentinel investigation delves into the "tangled financial dealings" of Orange County Commissioner Bob Freeman. Among the major findings are the commissioner's failure to pay taxes on his new home and his financial interlacing with "two key backers who also have needed commission approval for projects during Freeman's tenure." The reporters reveal the participation of the commissioner in questionable real-estate transactions. The story questions Florida's ethics laws for making it "almost impossible to hold politicians accountable for ethical problems - or even just sloppy record keeping."