“We don’t know the full scale of fraud yet, and it’s important to note that money is still being spent. But our members have hundreds of ongoing audits and investigations,” said Robert A. Westbrooks, director of the federal Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.
Reports and investigations from Itempnews in 2022
A variety of topics of national interest were covered in 2022, including gun violence, Governor Ron DeSantis's pro-gun policies, inflation, immigration, the Ukraine war, the labor market, recycling, drug trafficking, and money laundering.
How U.S. Cities and States Spent Billions in COVID-19 Assistance
President Biden’s signature American Rescue Plan Act gave local governments $350 billion to recover from COVID-19. They spent much of it on police, prisons and the courts.
Stubborn Effort to Bring U.S. Hostages Home Comes at a Price
President Biden's decision to swap two Venezuelan drug traffickers for seven Americans detained in Caracas has provoked criticism. It is not the first time that a White House tenant has acted in this way. The Iran-Contra case was a notable example.
China Used To Disguise Its Dictatorship; Xi Jinping Put an End to That
In the eyes of the world, a dictator in complete control of the world's second-largest economy encourages current and emerging authoritarian regimes to maintain official repression to retain power.
Behind the Resale of Cellebrite Technology That Can Hack Your Phone
While most of Cellebrite’s devices that are for resale are not new-gen, such practice demonstrates the vulnerabilities, insofar as repressive governments access the product and licensing upgrades through third parties for a few dollars, found an investigation by Itempnews. There are no limits for Venezuela, Cuba, or China to also buy this technology.
Russia Allies in Latin America Addopt the “Puttin’s Model” Against NGOs
Russian diplomats in Venezuela collected ample information about nongovernmental organizations that receive foreign funds and they also provided advice to the Venezuelan regime amidst a crusade to silence opposition groups, according to the findings of an investigation
Recycling in Obscurity on the Streets of Miami
Invisible but essential to the global recycling industry, the cardboard collectors of Miami-Dade earn a living by breaking down each piece of cardboard by hand, with no guaranteed income or labor protections.
While Venezuela’s Former Treasurer Was in Jail, His Ex-wife Bought Property in Florida
The compound of eight housing units located in Wellington, Palm Beach, is worth over $3 million, Itempnews found. Still another home was sold in October 2019 for $1.1 million, according to county property records. Former Venezuelan National Treasurer admitted that he received over US$1 billion in bribes.
U.S. Prosecutors on Trail of $700 Million in Bribes to Venezuela’s Former Treasurer
Justice Department records obtained by Itempnews show a broad look at the $300 million-plus haul that Hugo Chavez's former bodyguard began turning over the same day U.S. prosecutors charged him with $1 billion in money laundering.