Creator is exactly Pamela Zekman
A five-month investigation, led by Pamela Zekman, into the Michigan Avenue "abortion profiteers," and their dangerous and unsavory, unsanitary practices, including performing the procedure regularly on women who were not pregnant.
After hearing from a source that janitors, without washing, were sometimes used to move patients from surgery rooms to their beds, a reporter poses as a janitor at Von Solbrig Hospital. The series, a Task Force investigation, also examines the institution's encouragement of unnecessary procedures for welfare patients.
Tribune Investigative Task Force member William Mullen uncovered evidence of widespread election fraud in the March 21 presidential primaries in Chicago while working undercover as a clerk in the Chicago Board of Election Commissioner's City Hall office.
From the book jacket: "A tale of cold beer and hot graft, in which a team of investigative reporters ran a Chicago tavern to probe corruption-- and pulled off the greatest sting in the city's history." Mirage was the name of the pub and the focus of a 25-part series in the Chicago Sun-Times that, during the Pulitzer Prize deliberations of 1979, put undercover reporting under cloud.
Reporters, hired to work with phony references in nursing homes for the poor, uncover filthy conditions, unqualified employees (as evidenced by their own hiring), and undignified care of the elderly, often in the name of profit.
The series was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won a local Emmy award for WLS-TV. "Cashing in on crashes. "Thousands collect each year. They fake injuries and turn minor bump-and-bruise automobile accidents into an estimated $3 billion annual bonanza. "That is the accident swindle. It is masterminded by unscrupulous lawyers and ambulance chasers. They tell their clients how to fake pain. They are aided by crooked clinics and doctors eager to play along for profit. "During an eight-month investigation, reporters from the Sun-Times and WLS-TV (Channel 7) infiltrated the swindle and learned how it works. "With the cooperation of the Chicago Police Department and Allstate Insurance, reporters posed as victims of minor automobile accidents that never occurred. . . ." Editor Ralph Otwell described the project as having "documented the fraudulent legal and medical practices which add one-third higher premiums to every driver's insurance bill. "
Medicare and Medicaid fraud have been perennial reporting topics since the 1960s, often requiring undercover techniques to amass specific details.
The Chicago Tribune's Task Force lead a six-week investigation working in eight debt collection agencies to compile this chronicle of the abuse debt collectors impose.