Tales from the Trail

from Reuters Investigates:

In case you missed them

Just because it was summer, doesn't mean we weren't busy here at Reuters. Here are a few of our recent special reports that you might have missed.

IRAN-OBAMA/ECOMOMYTracking Iran's nuclear money trail to Turkey. U.N. correspondent Lou Charbonneau -- who used to cover the IAEA for Reuters --  followed the money to Turkey where an Iranian bank under U.S. and EU sanctions is operating freely. Nice to see the New York Times follow up on this today, and the Washington Post also quizzed Turkey's president about it.



USA-ELECTION/JOBSBlue-collar, unemployed and seeing red -- Chicago correspondent James Kelleher went on the road for this story about the long-term unemployed and what that means for Obama and the Democrats at November's midterm elections.

Even though he's been forced to move back in with his parents and has virtually no income, Stevenson opposes Obama's proposal to let some tax cuts for the wealthy, dating back to George W. Bush's presidency, expire at year's end in order to raise revenue and reduce the deficit. 

"How is more people, keeping more of the money they earn, bad for the economy?" he said. "The answer is -- it's not."   

5 charged in “Dream Home” mortgage fraud

Five people have been charged for defrauding about 1,000 people of a total $70 million in a scheme that the Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler called “a mortgage fraud, a securities scam and a ponzi scheme all rolled up into one.”The unsealing of the April 22 indictment also prompted the first press conference of Lanny Breuer, assistant attorney general for the criminal division, who has been on the job five days.And he had some harsh words for anyone trying to take advantage of the mortgage crisis through illegal means.”To those responsible for the egregious practices that have helped bring about mounting rates of foreclosure, and those who prey upon families who find themselves facing the loss of their homes to foreclosure, I say this: Our resolve as a group is great. We will find you, we will prosecute you and we’re going to put you in prison,” Breuer said.The indictment unsealed on Monday charges that the defendants convinced victims to invest at least $50,000 by refinancing their homes or buying new homes at inflated prices by saying that Metro Dream Homes would repay the mortgages in 5 to 7 years for half interest in the home.The defendants allegedly invested funds from later investors to pay mortgages of earlier investors, and were accused of using funds for their own gain — salaries of up to $200,000, paying their own mortgages, employing 10 chauffeurs, maintaining a fleet of luxury cars, and traveling to the 2007 National Basketball Association All-Star game and the 2007 National Football League Super Bowl and staying in luxury accommodations.Click here for more Reuters political coverage