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Report: A grand jury is investigating Bernie Sanders’ wife in bank fraud case

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Report: A grand jury is investigating Bernie Sanders’ wife in bank fraud case

Post  Admin on Fri 12 Jan 2018, 7:12 pm

Report: A grand jury is investigating Bernie Sanders’ wife in bank fraud case
January 8, 2018
Report: A grand jury is investigating Bernie Sanders’ wife in bank fraud case
IIP Photo Archive / CCL
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) can’t catch a break. Not only did he lose the presidential primaries to Hillary Clinton — it was later revealed that the Democratic National Committee (DNC), with Clinton campaign help, rigged the primaries — but Sanders is now finding his wife under FBI investigation.

Vermont media is now confirming that a grand jury was convened and has taken sworn testimony in the investigation into Sanders’ wife, Jane, as part of a federal investigation into a corrupt land deal that she orchestrated in 2010.

The Probe Deepens
Jane O’Meara Sanders was once the president of Burlington College, a private, non-profit, liberal arts college located in Burlington, Vermont. The school was reportedly looking to purchase 33 acres of lakefront property from a local Roman Catholic Diocese in 2010, but in order to secure to loans to purchase this land, Mrs. Sanders allegedly “overstated” the amount of pledged donations the college would receive.

She told People’s United Bank that the college had received $2.6 million in confirmed pledges and $5 million in potential pledges. The actual amount of donations was barely over $670,000, however.

When two of the donors who had made pledges confirmed that Mrs. Sanders had exaggerated the amount of their planned donations in 2011, she was forced to resign from the small college, which closed in 2016, partially from being unable to handle the debt from the new land purchase. The former college president received a generous severance package that also didn’t help the school’s financial state.

A Grand Jury Convened
VT Digger, a project of The Vermont Journalism Trust that publishes watchdog reports on state and local issues, has the report:

VTDigger has confirmed that a grand jury has compelled sworn witness testimony in the case. The Vermont U.S. Attorney’s office has interviewed at least one witness before the grand jury to determine whether indictments should be handed down.

Former Burlington College board member Robin Lloyd says she testified for about an hour on Oct. 26 before a grand jury at the federal courthouse in Burlington.

It was previously known that former college trustees had spoken to investigators over the incident, but according to a Sunday report, a grand jury “heard evidence from a former member of the Burlington College Board of Trustees in late October regarding fundraising that took place before school’s purchase of its new North Avenue campus.”

VTDigger.org first reported that former trustee Robin Lloyd was given a subpoena to testify before a grand jury in 2017. Lloyd told Burlington Free Press on Sunday that “she met with a prosecutor on the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Van de Graaf, and her lawyer on Oct. 26, 2017, in the Federal Building on Elmwood Avenue.”

Lloyd “then testified before a panel of about 15 to 20 people.”

“They’re trying to pull together where did the money come from to enable Burlington College to convince [People’s United Bank] and the diocese to go ahead with the deal,” Lloyd told reporters.

“I helped provide a timeline of what happened — and when — in terms of development,” she later added. “It was general questions about donors, and money coming in.”

“Nothing New Here”
Lloyd’s comments reportedly represent the first concrete evidence that a grand jury was convened in regard to criminal charges against Mrs. Sanders. The Washington Post previously reported that a grand jury was called in early July 2017, but this report was later proven inaccurate; there was merely a subpoena for documents regarding the case.

Still, Sanders family spokesperson Jeff Weaver asserted to VTDigger.org on Sunday that there was no grand jury yet assembled.

“We have absolutely no reason to believe that there is a grand jury empanelled to examine Burlington College, Dr. Jane Sanders, or any aspect of Dr. Sanders’s service as president of Burlington College,” Weaver said. “As best we can tell, the current news reports are simply recycling an account of a government interview of a witness from several months ago. Nothing new here.”

Effects on Bernie
Jane Sanders’ alleged real estate fraud could have negative consequences for her husband, who was considering another presidential run in 2020. Politico reported in November 2016 that the Vermont senator has been making moves to shore up his foreign policy experience in an effort to show that he can handle the Oval Office demands.

Even Vanity Fair admits that Sanders has several advantages going into the 2020 primaries. One of them is a 55 percent approval rating, and the support of many younger voters who didn’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Whether Bernie’s wife ends up being the death knell of her husband’s presidential hopes remains to be seen. For now, she just needs to focus on staying out of jail.

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