Finding people and Vetting Facts

Agustin Armendariz and Kendall Taggart

At the University of South Carolina, March 2014

Project Checklist

By Michael Berens, Seattle Times

#1 Is it new?
    • Google news searches -- go back a decade
    • LexisNexis (public libraries and public university libraries)
    • IRE stories database (Student membership $25)

Finding Sources

      • Federal court records are available on PACER
      • State court records search
  • Pet license database
  • Voter registration database

Example: Ruben Santiago


These are leads not facts


Backgrounding people and organizations

**Be methodical. Have a checklist.

-Criminal background checks

-More lawsuits



BACKGROUNDING PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS

Web
 

BACKGROUNDING PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS

Advanced Google tips:

  • site searches
    • site:.gov "ruben santiago"
    • site:sc.edu 
  • file type
    • site:sc.edu filetype:xls
  • Advanced Google search page (i.e. recent updates):
    • http://www.google.com/advanced_search

BACKGROUNDING PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS


-Who owns a website?

-Property records -- usually from the county clerk

600 Assembly Street


BACKGROUNDING PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS

**think about every government agency an organization would have to file paperwork with

-Securities and Exchange Commission (i.e. how much are CEOs paid)

  • 10-K (annual report)
  • DEF-14-A (proxy statement)

-Licensing
-Enforcement records

-Nonprofits

BACKGROUNDING PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS

Global records:

-Open Corporates

-Investigative Dashboard

Offline Tools

**Pick up the phone. Visit in person

-Call the local paper and ask for a clip search that will go back further in archives. Obituaries can give you relatives.

-DMV - News organizations can sometimes run a license plate.

-Call the county clerk

Additional Tips from exPerts

Henk van Ess: https://twitter.com/henkvaness

Paul Myers: https://twitter.com/researchclinic

Margot Williams: https://twitter.com/MargotWilliams


Questions


Augie:
email: aarmendariz@cironline.org
phone: 510.809.3173

Kendall:
email: ktaggart@cironline.org
phone: 510.809.2204

Backgrounding

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Backgrounding

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