“I was waiting to see if [Mr. Hopkins] would call me back, and he hasn’t,” says Ms. Appleby. She lives modestly, with Timmy, a 13-year-old white spaniel mix, amid piles of papers, boxes and a lone black-and-white photo from her high-school graduation. “I was fine with Social Security and my job. I have to find other work.”

Tough to read, but a great story.

Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014).

Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.