Bank Fraud Probe of Jane Sanders' Land Deal Heats Up

Grand jury is now involved
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2017 7:00 PM CDT
Updated Jul 11, 2017 12:41 AM CDT
Bank Fraud Probe of Jane Sanders' Land Deal Heats Up
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., hugs his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders, during the inaugural luncheon in honor of President Donald Trump at the Statuary Hall in the Capitol, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Things appear to be heating up in the probe of a land deal made by Bernie Sanders' wife, Jane, a new Washington Post article suggests. A state official has been called to testify before a grand jury in the federal investigation into the deal, which Jane Sanders made when she was president of Vermont's Burlington College in 2010. Sanders intended to boost enrollment at the college by purchasing the land and relocating the school, but the deal ultimately pushed the college into deep financial trouble, resulting in its shuttering last year. A bank fraud investigation was opened after allegations that Sanders may have fudged college donor levels on the loan application (allegations that led to her resignation from the college in 2011) and that her husband may have used his political office to get the application approved.

The Post spoke to half a dozen people who said they had been contacted by the FBI or federal prosecutors recently about the probe, plus former college trustees who say Sanders' lawyers have contacted them. And sources say prosecutors took more than a dozen boxes of records from Burlington College recently. The investigation appears to be centered on Jane, not Bernie, Sanders, per the Post's sources. A spokesperson for the couple has denied any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, the AP has a look at the Republican lawyer pushing the investigation—Brady Toensing's letter to Vermont's US attorney and federal bank regulators got the investigation launched last year—and finds that he has a history of filing complaints and public records requests against left-leaning politicians in Vermont. The Sanders' attorney says he's leading a "crusade" against Vermont Democrats. (More Bernie Sanders stories.)

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