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Report: Catholic parishioners accuse Bernie Sanders wife of federal bank fraud, ask DOJ for probe

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The past of Bernie Sanders’ wife is catching up to her.

Parishioners of a Vermont Roman Catholic diocese are asking lawyers of the Department of Justice to investigate Jane O’Meara Sanders for federal bank fraud for her actions while president of Burlington College, according to Fox News.com.

While serving as the college’s president between 2004 and 2011, she launched an aggressive fundraising campaign and a push to attract more students, and entered into a contract with the Catholic diocese to purchase 32 acres of prime land for $10 million to expand the campus.

But both the fundraising effort and the push to attract students were a flop; the college almost immediately defaulted, costing the diocese between $1.5 million and $2 million in monetary damages.

The college raised a piddling $279,000 in the 2011 campaign.

“It was within a relatively short time after closing [the deal], they were experiencing financial problems that made it impossible to pay the diocese,” an anonymous source told Heat Street.com, adding that Burlington College soon went into default mode on its loan.

The parishioners now claim that Sanders fraudulently overstated the amounts pledged to the college in an effort to secure the loan.

Heat Street reported:

Brady Toensing, who wrote the letter to the U.S. attorney, is vice chair of the Vermont Republican party. He called for an investigation on behalf of one named Vermont Catholic “and other aggrieved Vermont parishioners.”

The request for investigation notes that defrauding a bank is a federal crime; it’s punishable by up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines, according to federal code.


This isn’t the first time Sanders and his wife have been accused of financial shenanigans. Earlier this year, they were alleged to have funneled campaign donations as well as nonprofit funds to family members and friends.

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