Federal investigators are looking into allegations that Sen. Bernie Sanders' wife, Jane, falsified school loan documents when she served as the president of Burlington College, the Hill reported.
In May of 2016, the college closed their doors after going completely bankrupt and failing to meet the accreditation standards. The school faced financial problems during Sanders' time serving as the university's president (from 2004 to 2011). The school fell $10 million in debt after purchasing a new campus in 2010.
According to the report, Sander has been accused of falsifying information on loan documents with the plan to use the money to expand the school. Apparently, some of the donors that Jane allegedly helped get loans have contacted the FBI and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Jane Sanders left the college in 2011 and didn't state why, at least to the public.
The report revealed that Jane falsely believed that she could count on $2.6 million in donations to pay for the land purchased to expand the school. However, she only raised just under $700,000, nearly one-fourth of what she needed, sending the school into bankruptcy.The report stated that Corrine Bove Maietta pledged to give $1 million over a decade, according to the 2010 application Sanders filled out. Maietta claims she didn't make that pledge; however, she admitted she told Jane that she would donate an undisclosed amount of money after she died. Corrina's accountant, Richard Moss, revealed that the FBI has reached out to him and requested to sit down with Maietta to get a statement from her about her partnership with Sanders.
"It was sometime back in March or April, during tax season," Moss stated. "It was in regards to Corine Maietta's current address and where they could contact her for questions related to Burlington College."
In January of 2016, Vermont Republican Party vice chair Brady Toensing filed a complaint with the U.S. Attorney's office, claiming that Sanders had overstated the fundraising commitments she had when she applied for a loan to buy a new school campus. Toensing suggested that Jane misrepresented $2 million in pledge so that she would qualify for a $10 million loan for the project.
"I believe that's what instigated everything: that formal complaint," Burlington College board chair Yves Bradley said Friday.Bradley stated that the FBI had not contacted him but learned about the investigation in November. He added that the investigation has been ongoing for over a year.
According to Seven Days, former Burlington College dean of operations, Coralee Holm claims they have been under investigation since February of 2016. She revealed that the FBI had focused their attention on the funding of purchased land for an additional college campus.
"I cooperated with their request, which was to provide any documentation that pertained to the purchase of the new property as it related to fundraising for that property," Holm said.
Coralee's boss stated that the central question about the investigation is whether Jane Sanders purposely falsified loan applications in order to gain funding for the expansion. Apparently, the answer isn't clear to the FBI just yet.
Holm said that since the investigation started, the FBI requested she track down the pledges for donations. After nearly a year of searching, she has been unsuccessful. What that means for Jane Sanders and the investigation is not clear at this time.The FBI released a statement that the college itself is not under investigation as part of their recent inquiry.
The Hill reached out to Jane and Bernie Sanders for a comment. However, at this time, neither released a statement. The FBI has not spoken with Jane about her possible involvement in alleged bank fraud.
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