Article courtesy of HeatStreet, written by Jillian Kay Melchior.
Catholic parishioners in Vermont want Bernie Sanders’ wife investigated for federal bank fraud, according to a letter sent to the U.S. attorney in January and reviewed by Heat Street.
When Jane O’Meara Sanders served as president of Burlington College between 2004 and 2011, she oversaw an aggressive effort to enroll more students and expand the campus to accommodate a bigger student body. Part of that plan: Taking out hefty loans to finance the $10 million purchase of 32 acres of prime property from the Roman Catholic diocese at the end of 2010.
But Burlington College soon found itself unable to make its loan payments. The Roman Catholic diocese, which had sold off the land to help pay for a $17 million sexual-abuse settlement, ultimately lost between $1.5 million and $2 million, according to the letter calling for investigation, as well as several Vermont media outlets.
The diocese did not respond to a request for an interview. But a source with direct knowledge of the diocese’s involvement in the land acquisition says Burlington College almost immediately struggled to meet its obligations.
Parishioners now say that to secure loans to buy the land, Ms. Sanders misrepresented the amount that had been pledged to the college in its fundraising push.