Archive

Veteran, War Hero, Defendant, Troll

A ban from Facebook has apparently done little to slow Brian Kolfage, charged last month for defrauding thousands in a “build the wall” effort, and who regularly uses personal attacks and misinformation to sic his online following on perceived detractors.

The COVID-19 Charmer: How a Self-Described Felon Convinced Elected Officials to Try to Help Him Profit From the Pandemic

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic when testing supplies were limited, local politicians went to great lengths to help a businessman with a criminal past try to sell telehealth and COVID-19 services across Texas. This is their story.

Foreign Hackers Cripple Texas County’s Email System, Raising Election Security Concerns

The malware attack, which sent fake email replies to voters and businesses, spotlights an overlooked vulnerability in counties that don’t follow best practices for computer security.

ICE deportó a la mujer que acusó a unos guardias de agresión sexual a pesar de que las autoridades federales aún investigaban el incidente

Los inspectores generales del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional y del Departamento de Justicia investigan actualmente alegatos de que varios guardias de ICE agredieron sexualmente a unas detenidas, en espacios fuera de la vista de las cámaras de seguridad.

Un nuevo informe de ingeniería encuentra que se derrumbará el muro fronterizo financiado con fondos privados

El informe, presentado ante un tribunal federal la semana pasada, confirma los reportajes de ProPublica y The Texas Tribune que mostraron que partes del muro estaban en peligro de derrumbarse si no se reparaban, debido a la extensa erosión que apareció solo meses después de haberse construido.

ICE Deported a Woman Who Accused Guards of Sexual Assault While the Feds Were Still Investigating the Incident

Officials are investigating allegations that ICE guards assaulted detainees in camera blind spots. DHS instructed ICE not to deport a key witness, then suddenly decided to allow it.

La empresa prestamista que demandó a miles de latinos de bajos ingresos durante la pandemia

Una investigación de meses reveló que Oportun, Inc., empresa fundada para ayudar a los inmigrantes latinos a establecer un historial de crédito, utiliza demandas judiciales rutinariamente, con el fin de intimidar a esta población vulnerable para que se mantengan al día con los pagos de sus préstamos de alto interés, incluso durante COVID-19.

Cómo determinamos cuántas demandas de cobranza de adeudos presentó Oportun Inc. durante la pandemia

Los juzgados de paz, donde se presenta la mayoría de las reclamaciones de adeudos en Texas, no tienen el requisito de documentar información a nivel de caso. Aquí presentamos cómo las reporteras de ProPublica y The Texas Tribune lograron revelar una de las tácticas más agresivas de la empresa.

A Doctor Went to His Own Employer for a COVID-19 Antibody Test. It Cost $10,984.

Physicians Premier ER charged Dr. Zachary Sussman’s insurance $10,984 for his COVID-19 antibody test even though Sussman worked for the chain and knows the testing materials only cost about $8. Even more surprising: The insurer paid in full.

New Engineering Report Finds Privately Built Border Wall Will Fail

The report, set to be filed in federal court this week, confirms reporting from ProPublica and The Texas Tribune that found portions of the wall were in danger of overturning if not fixed due to extensive erosion just months after it was built.

The Loan Company That Sued Thousands of Low-Income Latinos During the Pandemic

A monthslong investigation revealed that Oportun Inc., which was founded to help Latino immigrants build credit, routinely uses lawsuits to intimidate a vulnerable population into keeping up with high-interest loan payments — even amid COVID-19.

How We Found Out How Many Debt Collection Lawsuits Oportun Inc. Filed During the Pandemic

Justice of the peace courts, where a majority of debt claims are filed in Texas, aren’t required to report case-level information. Here’s how ProPublica and Texas Tribune reporters got around it to reveal one company’s aggressive tactics.

Federal Prosecutors Have Steve Bannon’s Murky Nonprofit in Their Sights

Tucked at the bottom of the long indictment against Bannon, prosecutors say they want to seize the assets of his nonprofit Citizens of the American Republic, shedding more light on the secretive political group’s finances.

Private Border Wall Fundraisers Have Been Arrested on Fraud Charges

Investigators say fundraisers for nonprofit We Build the Wall, including Steve Bannon and founder Brian Kolfage, lied to donors and pocketed funds. Trump has tried to distance himself from the group but Kolfage has bragged about their ties.

ICE Guards “Systematically” Sexually Assault Detainees in an El Paso Detention Center, Lawyers Say

Allegations include guards attacking victims in camera “blind spots” and telling them that “no one would believe” them in ICE detention centers, which imprison about 50,000 immigrants each year at a taxpayer expense of $2.7 billion.

Her Rapist Threatened to Make Her “Disappear.” Instead of Asylum, ICE Put Her in a Hotel and Sent Her Back.

Thousands of migrant children — including babies — have been expelled by the Trump administration since March. Some have been held in hotels without access to lawyers or family. Advocates say many are now “virtually impossible” to find.

Demandaron a miles de prestatarios durante la pandemia, hasta que comenzamos a hacer preguntas

A meses de haber comenzado la pandemia, un prestamista que se comercializa entre los inmigrantes latinos siguió demandando a sus prestatarios, a pesar de que estos perdieron sus empleos y se retrasaron con sus pagos. No obstante, la compañía dio marcha atrás cuando nosotros comenzamos a hacer preguntas.

Un muro fronterizo financiado con fondos privados ya estaba en riesgo de colapsarse si no se reparaba. El huracán Hanna empeoró la situación.

El huracán Hanna descargó lluvias torrenciales sobre un muro fronterizo que construyeron partidarios de Trump, dejando huecos enormes y grietas que llegan hasta la cintura en las riberas del Río Bravo, las cuales amenazan su estabilidad a largo plazo.

Construyó un muro en la frontera con fondos privados. Ahora está en riesgo de desplomarse si no lo reparan.

Partidarios de Trump financiaron un muro fronterizo privado en la ribera del Río Bravo, ayudando al constructor a obtener $1,700 millones de dólares en contratos federales. Ahora los expertos dicen que ese “Lamborghini” de los muros fronterizos corre peligro de caerse al río si no se actúa al respecto.

How a $175 COVID-19 Test Led to $2,479 in Charges

A global pandemic ravaging America is no time to forget the first rule of American health care: There is no set price. One out-of-network medical provider in Texas seeks permission from patients to charge fees as high as six-figures to their insurance.

Follow ProPublica

Latest Stories from ProPublica