The wife of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders attempted to evict 16 disabled residents from a group home facility when, as president of now-defunct Burlington College, she was trying to negotiate the multimillion-dollar acquisition of 33 acres of prime real estate and a building owned by the local Roman Catholic Diocese.
Judicial Watch obtained a letter from Jane Sanders to an attorney, Todd Centybear, who represented the group home at the time of the ill-fated transaction.
In the letter, Sanders expresses frustration that the disabled residents would not leave the premises.
“It is simply not fair to expect the College to continue to carry the burden of the expenses associated with housing both your population and ours until February 2012,” Jane Sanders wrote, according to Judicial Watch.
Under the terms of the property deal, Sanders had agreed to negotiate some resolution for the disabled group home residents who would have to relocate, Judicial Watch says.
Justice Department officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have investigated Jane Sanders — and may still be investigating her — over her role in the possibly fraudulent acquisition of nearly $7 million in tax-exempt bonds related to the purchase of the diocese property when she was the president of Burlington College from 2004 until 2011. (RELATED: The FBI Is Investigating Sketchy Land Deal Led By Jane Sanders)
The extremely ambitious expansion and fundraising effort spearheaded by Jane Sanders ended up bankrupting the tiny, private school in Burlington, Vermont. It closed its doors — suddenly and permanently — in 2016.
Sanders had hoped to double full-time enrollment at Burlington College (from about 200 full-time students to over 400) by agreeing to take on substantial debt to finance the purchase of an expansive new campus.
The expansion plan involved the purchase of a 33-acre plot on the shores of Lake Champlain owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington. The prime acreage contained a three-story building — once an orphanage — which was to be the centerpiece of the new Burlington College campus. The diocese was selling the property to help pay for a $17 million settlement of several sex-abuse lawsuits.
The loan-backed expansion backfired massively, leading to Sanders’s departure from Burlington College and the school’s eventual collapse because the donations necessary to meet new financial obligations under the loans never materialized. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders’s Wife May Have Defrauded State Agency, Bank)
Sanders’s successor as Burlington College president, Christine Plunkett, would later express surprise about the lack of donations, according to local CBS affiliate WCAX-TV.
Emails obtained through an open records request by The Vermont Journalism Trust reveal that FBI agents and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Vermont have been analyzing Burlington College records for over a year. Also, the feds have subpoenaed at least one former Burlington College employee.
That employee, former Burlington College dean of operations Coralee Holm, told The Vermont Journalism Trust that FBI agents questioned her about the fundraising activities related to the expansion.
Sanders has denied any implications of wrongdoing, telling The Daily Caller News Foundation that the school gave the state finance agency “very clear indications of what money was in hand, what money was expected, what money was absolutely not able to be revoked.”
“So I don’t know what to tell you,” she said.
The Justice Department and the FBI have refused to provide details about the investigation.
On Sep. 26, 2011, less than a year after orchestrating the property purchase and with two years remaining in her contract, Jane Sanders abruptly resigned as president of Burlington College.
Sanders’s lawyers and the college reached a settlement several days after her resignation under which she collected a severance package worth roughly $200,000.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist who has blasted the U.S. government as an oligarchy run by billionaires and railed against the golden parachutes received by top corporate executives, ran unsuccessfully for Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. He proved to be a surprisingly formidable opponent for eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.
In 2016, Sanders and his wife purchased a $600,000 lakefront home — a spacious, four-bedroom home with 500 feet of beachfront on Lake Champlain. In total, then, along with their family home in Burlington, Vermont and a row house on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Bernie and Jane Sanders now own three tasteful real estate properties.
Over 30 mutual fund investments owned by the socialist Sanders and his wife are valued between $191,000 and $815,000. (SURPRISE! Socialist Sanders Touts Free-College Plan That Would Help Rich People Most, Study Says)
All the mutual funds are in the name of Jane Sanders, according to the Vermont Journalism Trust.
Sanders held his tax returns close to the vest during his presidential run, making just part of a 2014 tax return public.
Last month, Sanders failed to meet a May 15 deadline for turning in an annual report detailing his finances for 2016. The socialist senator has failed to meet ethics requirements in a timely manner 80 percent of the time for the last five years. (RELATED: Wealthy Socialist Bernie Sanders AGAIN Fails To File Senate Ethics Financial Disclosures On Time)
Jane Sanders has hired two well-known attorneys amid the ongoing investigation possible fraud during her tenure at Burlington College. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders’s Wife Lawyers Up)