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Investigations You Need to Read: Friday

Today in accountability news:

  • Data from the New York Federal Reserve show that major banks masked their risk levels by doing "repo" trading just before filing publicly available quarterly reports, according to The Wall Street Journal. A group of 18 banks had debt levels at quarters' end that were an average of 42 percent below their quarter peaks.
  • Sex offender housing restrictions often have the effect of forcing sex offenders to serve parole in prison, which may actually lead to higher recidivism. The Chicago Tribune found that sex offenders released after serving parole behind bars were more likely to commit more crimes than offenders who served parole while tightly monitored in the community.
  • Earlier this week, the U.S. accepted responsibility for causing the deaths of three Afghan women in a botched nighttime raid in February. The Los Angeles Times reports that American and Afghan officials are now investigating the U.S. Special Forces to determine whether it covered up its involvement in the slayings, which were initially blamed on insurgents.
  • Reuters investigates how the Department of Justice, Department of State and the IRS managed to pressure UBS into turning over the names of serious U.S. tax evaders -- breaching "nearly a century of Swiss bank secrecy."
  • USA Today reports that the West Virginia mine that caused the deaths of at least 25 miners earlier this week has paid one major fine, but owes 21 more. Coal companies appealing penalties have delayed paying nearly $90 million of the $113 million in fines levied against them since April 2007.
  • New Jersey officials grabbed U2 and Bruce Springsteen tickets before they were even available to the public, reports Bloomberg. Court documents show that 22 elected officials received special treatment from ticket brokers -- a potential violation of state ethics rules.

These stories are part of our ongoing roundup of investigations from other news outlets. For more, visit our Investigations Elsewhere page.


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