A federal grand jury looking into a soured $10 million real estate deal that involved the wife of Sen. Bernie Sanders sought information on statements made to secure the loan, according to a witness and former trustee at the college where Jane Sanders served as president.
Continue Reading Below
Robin Lloyd, who served on the board at Burlington College, confirmed that a grand jury was looking into the case as recently as October. She said the panel was interested in what Sanders may have told trustees and lenders in order to secure the 2010 loan, for a 33-acre campus along Lake Champlain.
"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.”
“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 the Burlington Free Press.
Sanders reportedly told college trustees and bank lenders that the college had millions of dollars in donations that could be used to repay the loan. The land was purchased from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.
Lloyd reportedly was questioned by Paul Van de Graaf, the chief of the criminal division for the U.S. attorneys’ office in Vermont.
At the time, Sanders sought a $6.5 million loan from People’s United Bank to buy tax-exempt bonds issued by a state agency, and a $3.65 million second mortgage from the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Burlington.
Continue Reading Below
In order to secure the money, Sanders reportedly submitted a spreadsheet asserting that the school had $2.4 million in confirmed pledges, grants, and other funds to repay the debt.
Lloyd was reportedly approached by two FBI agents in early October, but refused to speak to them without an attorney. Two weeks later, Lloyd was, reportedly, subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury.
Lloyd’s grand jury testimony was not the first time reports surfaced about the probe. In July, prosecutors reportedly called a state official to testify in the federal probe.
A spokesperson for the Sanders family, Jeff Weaver, said they had “absolutely no reason to believe that there is a grand jury empaneled to examine Burlington College, Dr. Jane Sanders, or any aspect of Dr. Sanders’ service as president of Burlington College.
“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,” Weaver said.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Vermont did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.