Undermoney by DCI Group

Uncovering Corruption: The World of Investigative Reporting - with Jim Mintz

Undermoney by DCI Group

Money. Corruption. Power.

These three components meet at the intersection of the political and financial industries.

“Undermoney” exists to report on and expose the fraud and corruption present in our world the systems that help society function.

In this new episode of “Undermoney”, host Jay Newman sits down with Jim Mintz, Founder of Mintz Group and Dig Lab Foundation. Together, they discuss the world of private investigation and the importance of uncovering corruption within the worlds’ political and financial systems.

If you value the truth and want to know how the world really works, tune in to this ground-breaking episode.

Main Takeaways:

00:00 🔎 With his Dig Lab, Jim Mintz is helping regular people use research and investigation tools to uncover corruption and document war crimes, just like he did as a teenager in the late 1960s.

Regular people can use research and investigation tools to uncover corruption and document war crimes, such as in Ukraine and Syria.
Jim Mintz, founder of one of the world's foremost investigations firms, joins the show to discuss his not-for-profit Dig Lab, which trains citizen researchers to uncover and document wrongdoing.
As a teenager in the late 1960s, Jay was a radical who read exposes about the lies the U.S government was telling about Vietnam and Cambodia.
I and my brother enjoyed reading Ifstone's Weekly, a newsletter that used humor to expose the inconsistencies of the Pentagon and President Lyndon Johnson.
Vietnam and racial justice were the issues of the day, similar to the issues we are concerned about today.
After graduating college, I began a career in investigative reporting and eventually moved to working for a law firm as an investigator, which was post-Watergate Washington.

07:13 🔎 Rudy Giuliani pioneered the field of private investigation, conducting open and ethical investigations to uncover waste, fraud, and abuse, such as the Alaska pipeline and Michael Milken's insider trading.

  • Investigation found evidence of waste, fraud, and abuse in the construction of the Alaska pipeline, costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
  • He transitioned from working in an internal group at a law firm to setting up his own investigative firm, pioneering the field of private investigation.
  • We left the law firm to take on a case investigating how the nuclear power industry was spying on activists, and our investigative effort typically worked for law firms on behalf of businesses or victims of fraud or corruption.
  • Rudy Giuliani investigated Michael Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert for insider trading based on the word of Ivan Boesky, a real insider trader who was allegedly paying people for information with bags of cash.
  • Investigations should be conducted openly and ethically, without resorting to unethical tactics such as hacking.
  • To gain cooperation from others, it is best to be honest and upfront about what is being investigated and try to gain their sympathy to help.

16:37 🤑 Kleptocrat is a free game that helps people spot Dirty Money and understand the risks and rewards of hiding it.

  • Kleptocracy is an educational game that exposes international crime and corruption and how money is stolen, hidden, moved, and spent.
  • We gathered 35 examples of corrupt officials hiding money and found that they all fit into a pattern of five stages.
  • Kleptocrat is a free game released as a public service to help people spot Dirty Money and understand the risks and rewards corrupt officials face when hiding it.
  • People involved in hiding money from corrupt officials may turn on them and help investigators, as they are often aware of the wealth they are helping to create.
  • Society has done a number of things to try to fight corruption, but it is still as prevalent as ever, and it takes a long time for accountability and justice to arrive.

22:48 💰 After 16 years, the Department of Justice recovered stolen money from Obium Abacha, the Marcoses' assets were confiscated, and a woman tracked stolen artwork to the Philippines.

  • The Sunny Abacha case is a successful example of getting stolen money back, but it took 16 years after his death for justice to be served.
  • Obium lived a lavish life with stolen money from Equatorial Guinea, buying Michael Jackson's memorabilia, including the crystal-studded glove, before the Department of Justice closed in and the glove disappeared.
  • The FBI sent a team to Kiev to prevent the assets of corrupt officials from being moved and to expose corruption in real time.
  • The Marcoses' assets were confiscated, but no one went to jail and their son is now a major political figure in the Philippines.
  • A woman tracked stolen artwork to the Philippines after a pursuit from a Manhattan townhouse to JFK Airport.

28:57 🔎 Citizens are using research and investigation tools to uncover corruption and create a people-powered movement to fight it.

  • DigLab is a laboratory for citizens to use research and investigation tools to do their own digging into topics.
  • Sheila Coronel and the speaker have graduated a generation of investigative reporters, but there are still not enough to combat corruption and the internet has democratized the tools of digging into things.
  • The Seek Initiative is a people-powered anti-corruption effort headquartered in Germany that trains and encourages citizens to tell their own stories and fight for truth.
  • Citizens around the world are using plane spotting to track the movements of private planes owned by wealthy and powerful people.
  • People are using technology to investigate corruption and create a people-powered movement to fight it.
  • Citizens are using archives to document human rights abuses and corruption, and are becoming activists with information to hold leaders accountable.

37:04 💪 Gather your friends and research local issues to take action and hold bad actors accountable with the help of international institutions.

  • Gather your friends together to investigate local issues and take action yourself.
  • Local knowledge is a powerful, largely untapped resource that can be weaponized with the help of research and collaboration.
  • Private right of action could be grafted onto current sanctions regimes to weaponize information and unleash the "dogs of law" on bad actors.
  • Shame alone is not enough to stop government officials from filling their own pockets, so a bounty system should be implemented to return stolen money to the country.
  • We should promote a model of sharing recovered money with litigation funders to help with anti-corruption investigations and hold actors accountable.
  • International institutions such as the IMF, US Treasury, and EU are needed to create best practices for anti-corruption initiatives to combat corrupt regimes.

47:55 🔎 Investigation and collaboration between prosecutors, reporters, non-profits, citizens, etc. is needed to combat corruption and return money to the people through radical transparency, human intelligence, and digital data.

  • Sanctions appear to work effectively to crush the economies of sanctioned countries, but the leaders remain in power and evade the sanctions.
  • The New York Times exposed how Iran evaded sanctions by selling ships to themselves, showing the need for investigative collaboration between prosecutors, reporters, non-profits, citizens, etc.
  • Paul Volcker ran an investigation and found the details were kept under wraps, but there is an opportunity to use not-for-profits and charitable organizations to return money to the people.
  • Radical transparency, human intelligence, and digital data can be combined to create real change in the face of increasing disclosures.
  • Transparency International is training people to look for red flags in government contracts to combat corruption.
  • Analysis of Chinese contracts with other countries revealed outrageous terms, and transparency is key to combatting corruption.

  • 56:59 🔎 Citizen investigation is a growing trend that can lead to real change in sentiment and understanding.

  • People are using the internet to break out of the cycle of misinformation and use the tools of digging to uncover the truth.
  • Dig lab could track, photograph, and chase down foreign officials spending large amounts of money in New York.
  • Citizen investigation is a growing trend that can lead to real change in sentiment and understanding.
  • Thanks for visiting and tuning in, it's been inspiring to watch Jim Mintz's career and what he's building now.


disappears in the desert sands of Syria, only a small group of military operatives knows its ultimate destination or why it has been stolen.

Their goal is no less than the restoration of America’s military and economic preeminence on the global stage.

Arcing from Manhattan’s finest apartments to Washington, D.C., from Middle Eastern war zones to private European bank vaults, Jay Newman’s Undermoney is a filled with jaw-dropping action. Brilliantly rendered with details only a sophisticated financial insider knows, it reveals the secret intentions and savage deeds of the world’s richest people.

More information: jaynewman.com