Deep-Dives You Should Read This Week
The Cut's portrait of a socialite fraudster, The Intercept's analysis of Jeff Sessions' new immigration policies, and more investigative articles to add to your queue
In New York City, an oasis for faceless, domineering wealth, a young woman took advantage of what the appearance of glitz and unending money can earn for you: the trust of everyone around you.
That’s the portrait New York Magazine reporter (writing for The Cut) Jessica Presser paints of Anna Delvey, who as one acquaintance put it, “screwed basically everyone.”
In an enthralling article that reads like a modern-day “Catch Me If You Can,” Presser lays out how Delvey duped New York’s elite through a carefully curated identity, fraudulent checks and dubious wire transfers, leaving everyone else to foot the bill—to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As Presser surmises: “She saw something others didn’t. Anna looked at the soul of New York and recognized that if you distract people with shiny objects, with large wads of cash, with the indicia of wealth, if you show them the money, they will be virtually unable to see anything else. And the thing was: It was so easy.”
Another must read for the week is an in-depth look into how Attorney General Jeff Session’s new “zero-tolerance” border policies are affecting immigrants and courts alike.
Reporter Debbie Nathan of The Intercept takes readers into a small border-town courtroom, where mass trials have become commonplace in the past few weeks.
What emanates is a powerful portrait of a broken system, with scenes such as this:
“…the judge asked many of his questions en masse. This had the astounding effect of eliciting, from otherwise mute and downcast defendants, thundering group responses.
‘Are each of you satisfied with the help of the lawyer?’ the judge asked the huddled people.
‘Sí!’ they roared in unison.”
The article also reflects on the Jeff Sessions-created policy of removing immigrant children from their parents—creating an artful reflection of how the Trump White House dehumanizes asylum seekers.
Demonstrating the importance of local reporting, The State reporter Avery G. Wilks uncovered how board members of a tiny South Carolina utility boost their pay while charging some of the highest rates in the state
Wilks details how the members convene about once a week, far more than similar groups, to cash in on $450 meeting stipends—accumulating annual pay of about $52,000 a member.
In other local news, Steven Goode details in the Hartford Courant how council members in a small Connecticut town dined on lobster ravioli, filet mignon and a $49 Kobe beef and foie gras burger—for a total bill of $2,500, on tax-payers’ dime—all while discussing the upcoming year's budget.