Heather Vogell


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Heather Vogell is a reporter at ProPublica looking at U.S. trade policy and the baby formula industry.

Previously, she investigated the rental housing market and how many of the nation’s biggest landlords were sharing data and using one company’s algorithm to set rents — potentially in violation of laws against price fixing. Afterward, dozens of tenants filed antitrust lawsuits and U.S. senators proposed legislation that would restrict the practice. She has also written about President Donald Trump’s business entanglements and collaborated with WNYC reporters on the podcast “Trump, Inc.” Her 2019 stories were the first to chronicle discrepancies between what the Trump Organization told New York City property tax officials and what it reported on loan documents.

At The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, her work on test cheating in the public school system resulted in the indictments of the superintendent and 34 others. A series she co-authored, “Cheating Our Children,” examined suspicious test scores nationwide.

Her work has been a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and the Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism; it has also won the Hillman Prize, Sigma Delta Chi Awards and multiple honors from the Education Writers Association and the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing.

I Got Mailers Promoting Toddler Milk for My Children. I Went on to Investigate International Formula Marketing.

Health experts say formula marketing often makes misleading claims and prompts some mothers to prematurely give up breastfeeding. Yet the U.S. government has opposed advertising restrictions on the product around the globe.

What You Should Know About “Toddler Milk” and How It’s Marketed to Parents

These drinks, targeted to young kids, may promise unproven benefits like “improved brain development” or “improved immune function.” Yet the U.S. government has repeatedly fought against advertising restrictions on these products around the globe.

Documents Show Internal Clash Before U.S. Officials Pushed to Weaken Toddler Formula Rules

Government documents obtained by ProPublica show a stark rift between trade and health officials over international efforts to regulate toddler milk. The records provide a rare, candid glimpse into U.S. policymaking around children's health.

The U.S. Government Defended the Overseas Business Interests of Baby Formula Makers. Kids Paid the Price.

Records and interviews show that the U.S. government repeatedly used its muscle to advance the interests of large baby formula companies while thwarting the efforts of Thailand and other developing countries to safeguard children’s health.

We Found That Landlords Could Be Using Algorithms to Fix Rent Prices. Now Lawmakers Want to Make the Practice Illegal.

After a ProPublica investigation, U.S. senators introduced a bill to curb “price fixing” linked to rent-setting software. “Setting prices with an algorithm is no different from doing it over cigars and whiskey in a private club,” said one sponsor.

DOJ Backs Tenants in Case Alleging Price-Fixing by Big Landlords and a Real Estate Tech Company

A ProPublica investigation last year about RealPage’s rent-setting software led to federal lawsuits asserting inflated apartment prices.

Ruling Confirms Trump Used Fraud to Hype Property Values

In 2019, ProPublica revealed stark inconsistencies between what the Trump Organization had reported to tax authorities and what it told lenders about the finances of one of its towers. A judge this week ruled the company had committed fraud.

Senators Had Questions for the Maker of a Rent-Setting Algorithm. The Answers Were “Alarming.”

After a ProPublica investigation, RealPage answered questions from lawmakers about its product. In response, the senators sent a letter to the Justice Department.

Department of Justice Opens Investigation Into Real Estate Tech Company Accused of Collusion with Landlords

The DOJ will examine whether RealPage helped landlords coordinate rent increases. Questions also swirl around a 2017 merger deal with its largest competitor.

More Senate Democrats Seek Investigation of Tech Firm Accused of Colluding With Landlords to Hike Apartment Rents

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and other leading Democrats have asked the Department of Justice to examine Texas-based RealPage, which sells software to help landlords set apartment rental prices across the country.

Pressure Grows on Real Estate Tech Company Accused of Colluding With Landlords to Jack Up Apartment Rents

RealPage has come under increasing fire from lawmakers and lawyers after ProPublica reported on its software’s potentially anti-competitive effects. Student housing is implicated.

Senator Seeks Antitrust Review of Apartment Price-Setting Software

The chair of a Senate committee wants the Federal Trade Commission to examine software sold by Texas-based RealPage after a ProPublica investigation revealed possible collusion.

Company That Makes Rent-Setting Software for Apartments Accused of Collusion, Lawsuit Says

Texas-based RealPage worked with some of the nation’s largest landlords to create a cartel to raise rents, says a lawsuit filed just days after ProPublica published its investigation into the company.

Rent Going Up? One Company’s Algorithm Could Be Why.

Texas-based RealPage’s YieldStar software helps landlords set prices for apartments across the U.S. With rents soaring, critics are concerned that the company’s proprietary algorithm is hurting competition.

How Your Shadow Credit Score Could Decide Whether You Get an Apartment

The vast tenant screening industry is subject to less regulation than credit scoring agencies, even though experts warn that algorithms could introduce racial or other illegal biases that can prevent people from getting housing.

When Private Equity Becomes Your Landlord

Amid a national housing crisis, giant private equity firms have been buying up apartment buildings en masse to squeeze them for profit, with the help of government-backed Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, tenants say they’re the ones paying the price.

New Legal Filing Reveals Startling Details of Possible Fraud by Trump Organization

The filing, submitted by New York Attorney General Letitia James, comes several years after a ProPublica investigation revealed conflicting financial details the Trump Organization filed for its downtown Manhattan skyscraper at 40 Wall Street.

Have You Had Trouble Renting an Apartment and Don’t Understand Why? It Might Be Your Tenant Screening Score.

Did a tenant screening company, such as LeasingDesk, On-Site, Credco or RentGrow, send you a score or report? We want to understand their effect on tenants.

Two School Districts Had Different Mask Policies. Only One Had a Teacher on a Ventilator.

Eleven states let school districts decide whether students and staff must wear masks. One Georgia middle school where masks were optional became the center of an outbreak.

The Kushners’ Freddie Mac Loan Wasn’t Just Massive. It Came With Unusually Good Terms, Too.

Despite a history of underperforming properties, Kushner Companies received a near-record sum from a government-backed lender. Should it default, taxpayers could be forced to foot much of the bill. The agency says politics played no role.

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