Bernie Sanders never imagined he would be in this much trouble.
A scandal involving his wife has exploded into a full on criminal investigation.
And the news just got way worse.
Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane are under FBI investigation for bank fraud.
At first the investigation only involved a probe as to whether Jane Sanders had committed bank fraud when she misrepresented financial information on a loan application while President of Burlington College.
Now Bernie Sanders might face legal jeopardy as the FBI could look into whether his Senate office pushed the bank to approve the loan.
And he and his wife have lawyered up.
CBS News reports:
“Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and his wife, Jane Sanders have hired prominent defense attorneys amid an FBI investigation into a loan Jane Sanders obtained to expand Burlington College while she was its president, CBS News confirms.
Politico Magazine first reported the Sanders had hired lawyers to defend them in the probe. Sanders’ top adviser Jeff Weaver told CBS News the couple has sought legal protection over federal agents’ allegations from a January 2016 complaint accusing then-President of Burlington College, Ms. Sanders, of distorting donor levels in a 2010 loan application for $10 million from People’s United Bank to purchase 33 acres of land for the institution.
According to Politico, prosecutors might also be looking into allegations that Sen. Sanders’ office inappropriately urged the bank to approve the loan.
Burlington attorney and Sanders supporter Rich Cassidy has reportedly been hired to represent Sen. Sanders. And high-profile Washington defense attorney Larry Robbins, who counseled I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is protecting Jane Sanders.
Ms. Sanders’ push for the liberal arts college’s costly land acquisition was cited in a press release by the college when it shut down in 2016.”
The College closed down in 2016, but this was after Jane Sanders was alleged to have misled a bank on a loan application.
On the application, Mrs. Sanders claimed to have secured $2.6 million in donations, but only had raised just over $600,000 worth of money.
The letter to the United States Attorney detailing the allegations claimed:
“In 2010, Jane Sanders, then-President of Burlington College and wife of United States Senator Bernard Sanders, orchestrated the college’s purchase of the Diocese’s headquarters property for $10 million dollars. To finance the purchase, Ms Sanders sought approval from the Vermont Educational and Health Buildings Finance Agency (VEHBFA), which voted to issue tax exempt bonds for the transaction. Those bonds were purchased by People’s United Bank in the form of a $6.5 million dollar loan to the college along with a $3.65 million second mortgage from the Diocese.
The loans were contingent on the college providing proof of a minimum commitment of $2.27 million in grants and donations prior to the closing…As the college president, Ms. Sanders submitted what she claimed was evidence of $2.6 million in confirmed grants and donations…
The letter claims, however, that the forthcoming funding cited in the loan application did not
At the end of the fiscal year 2011 (six months after closing on the loan), Ms. Sanders had collected only $279,000 in donations, which was less than 25 percent of the $1.2 million Ms. Sanders guaranteed to the bank that she would have collected in that year.
By the end of fiscal year 2014, of the $2.6 million Ms. Sanders guaranteed to the bank as confirmed donations, the college had collected only $676,000, a shortfall of almost $2 million. As a consequence, the school failed to meet required loan benchmarks and defaulted on its loan from the Diocese.”
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this story