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 "taxpayers" ...

  • ProPublica: Inside Trump’s VA

    ProPublica held Trump accountable for his promises to veterans by investigating the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. We exposed how Trump gave vast influence over the agency to three associates at his Mar-a-Lago resort who have no relevant expertise. We revealed his administration’s plans to expand the VA’s reliance on the private sector, a controversial agenda backed by the Koch brothers but opposed by most veterans. And we examined the VA’s record of using more private health care, finding that it resulted in higher costs for taxpayers and worse service for veterans.
  • NBC News: Taxpayers Financing Slumlords: Under Ben Carson, more families live in HUD housing that fails health and safety inspections

    In a three-month investigation, NBC News found that a growing number of families – more than 47,000 - were living in horrid conditions subsidized by taxpayers in properties regularly inspected by HUD; after we started asking questions, HUD announced an overhaul of its inspection system and said it is now planning to toughen inspections, which will impact millions of low-income American families.
  • Fox45: What Transparency Looks Like

    Baltimore is a city in crisis. Its murder rate is the highest in the nation. Its school system is among the lowest performing. For decades, its government has hidden behind a culture of secrecy and corruption. More than one year ago, Fox45 decided it had enough and challenged the status quo. On behalf of students, parents and taxpayers, Fox45 took the drastic step of suing Baltimore’s $1.4 billion school system - one of the nation’s largest. In the fall of 2017, when City Schools denied the entirety of a Project Baltimore public records request concerning the results of an internal grade changing investigation, Fox45 sued the school board. That internal investigation stemmed from a series of Fox45 reports which exposed a culture of grade fixing and pushing students through a broken school system. To date, Fox45 has accrued more than $100,000 in legal fees. But, so far, City Schools has been forced to capitulate. Bit by bit, over the year, they have handed over more than 10,000 pages of documents. And our fight is not over yet. The trial is scheduled for February 11. When it concludes, Fox45 will take another drastic step and send a strong message by filing a motion to recuperate our legal fees from Baltimore City Public Schools. “What Transparency Looks Like” was produced by Project Baltimore, a team of Fox45 journalists committed to a long-term investigation into Baltimore area schools.
  • CBS News: New Tax Scam Tricks

    When tax preparer Annette Kraft in Duncan, Oklahoma, checked the status of her clients' tax returns in January, she was surprised to find all of them had been rejected."The code was 902-01," she said. "That means someone else has already filed a tax return." It turns out her clients were victims of a new tax scam intended to cheat them out of their refunds, and her town was ground zero in the scam. The criminals get their hands on returns from previous years, then use that information to file new fraudulent returns on unsuspecting victims. After the refund goes into the victim's bank account, the crooks, posing as debt collectors for the IRS, follow up with a phone call claiming the refund was an error, then directing them to a fraudulent website to return the money. "I had about $9,015 more than I anticipated," said Duncan police officer David Woods. He discovered that supposed refund one day as he checked his bank balance, but it didn't make sense because he hadn't filed his taxes yet. "I didn't get my W-2 to file my taxes," Woods said. He returned the money to the government, but now the IRS says his real refund will be delayed, possibly for months. He's not alone. At the local tire shop, 49-year-old Jerry Duvall told us his $5,800 return is more than two months late. "We planned on taking care of expenses, getting caught up on bills and we counted on it," Duvall said. He missed a $200 car payment, and on the very day we spoke with him, he told us his car was getting repossessed.At least 230 of Kraft's clients have been hit and face months of delays. Taxpayers like 91-year-old Ray Prothro found out about the scam from the IRS while we were there.
  • A County In Crisis

    Our investigation in Clay County, Missouri, exposed possible misuse of taxpayers’ funds, questionable credit card expenses, slashed budgets, infighting among elected county officials and the mishandling of a program designed to ensure the indigent receive a proper burial. We learned the body of one indigent woman sat in the morgue for a year.
  • Protecting the Shield

    “Protecting the Shield” exposed the deaths and injuries caused by out-of-control rogue cops who are knowingly left on the streets by their superiors. This exhaustive indictment of government failings shows how weak police oversight cost citizens their lives, honest officers their careers and taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Our work prompted police reforms, including random drug testing of all police officers and a statewide internal affairs overhaul.
  • 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.
  • The 100-Yard Deception

    Insider records reveal trail of deceit and potential fraud as largest U.S. maker of artificial sports fields, FieldTurf, and its executives for years made ballooning profits off taxpayers in cities, towns and school districts across the country, selling a product they knew was falling apart and would fall short of marketing and advertising claims. http://fieldturf.nj.com/
  • The 100-Yard Deception

    Insider records reveal trail of deceit and potential fraud as largest U.S. maker of artificial sports fields, FieldTurf, and its executives for years made ballooning profits off taxpayers in cities, towns and school districts across the country, selling a product they knew was falling apart and would fall short of marketing and advertising claims. https://readymag.com/njdotcom/fieldturfpreview/ https://readymag.com/njdotcom/fieldturf/ https://readymag.com/njdotcom/fieldturf-new-jersey/ https://readymag.com/njdotcom/fieldturf-dipiazza/
  • Amarillo Economic Development Corporation Travel Expenses

    This series looks at travel expenses from the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) during a three-year period. The AEDC is mostly funded with taxpayer money with the Amarillo city council approving the almost $2 million operating budget. The findings include luxury hotel expenses, purchases of alcohol, meals at high-end restaurants, late check-out fees and rounds of golf. Some receipts were hand-written, unreadable or not itemized. There is little to no oversight of these expenses either by the organization or the city. The AEDC has no “written” policies on travel and the president approves his own expenses. Many of the meals, trips and rounds of golf are considered an investment, but there is no record of who attended because the AEDC says the deals are confidential. The organization has existed for 26 years but has brought in 34 businesses during that time to Amarillo.