A key witness in the possible bank fraud case against Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane Sanders, was questioned by FBI agents just over a week ago, Fox News has learned.
The revelation—the first such confirmed development since January—likely indicates that the federal investigation into a soured $10-million real estate deal remains open.
Jane Sanders, the former president of the now-defunct Burlington College, was at the helm when the college decided to expand and obtain a tract of land from a Roman Catholic parish. She secured a $6.7 million loan from a bank and a $3.6 million loan from the parish from which she planned to purchase the property.
She resigned in 2011 amid accusations that she inflated the amount of money donors have pledged to the school and provided incorrect information to a bank to get the loan. Multiple individuals, who were listed as college donors, have since come forward denying the commitments.
Coralee Holm, the former Burlington College dean of operations, has previously told Fox News that the probe has “no specific deadline.” FBI agents first questioned her last summer, she said.
Holm said she was visited by agents two weeks ago and answered “some clarifying questions on materials.”
The news of a recent questioning comes after reports that a federal grand jury was empaneled last year in October and heard evidence from another former official at the college.
Robin Lloyd, who served on the board at Burlington College, confirmed in January that a grand jury was looking into the possible bank fraud by Sanders. Grand juries are generally secretive and their existence is often denied to the public, but witnesses are allowed to discuss their testimonies.
“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.
A spokesperson for the Sanders family has pushed back against the recent developments in the probe, saying they had “absolutely no reason to believe that there is a grand jury empaneled to examine” Sanders or any “aspect of Dr. Sanders’ service.” The spokesperson blamed the media for “recycling an account of a government interview of a witness from several months ago.”