A federal investigation into Jane Sanders’ land deals while serving as president of Burlington College has heated up, advancing to sworn testimony in front of a grand jury.
According to VT Digger, the Vermont U.S. Attorney’s office has interviewed a witness in front of a grand jury. Former Burlington College board member Robin Lloyd said she testified on October 26 about her development role at the college.
“I helped provide a timeline of what happened — and when — in terms of development,” Lloyd said. “It was general questions about donors, and money coming in.”
Jane Sanders, wife of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, is alleged to have falsified loan documents in order to secure funding to expand Burlington’s campus. Sanders stated in a 2010 loan application that she had secured $2.6 million in promised donations to pay for the land, but only $676,000 ever materialized. (RELATED: CONFIRMED: FBI Is Conducting Even More Interviews Over Alleged Jane Sanders Bank Fraud)
The college ended up defaulting on its loans and went bankrupt in May 2016.
Spokespeople for the Sanders family deny that a grand jury has been empaneled in the case.
“We have absolutely no reason to believe that there is a grand jury empaneled to examine Burlington College, Jane Sanders, or any aspect of Dr. Sanders’ service as president of Burlington College,” said the Sanders family’s spokesman, Jeff Weaver. “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. Nothing new here.”
Lloyd provided Seven Days with additional information about her summons before the jury. Lloyd claimed that the FBI first came to speak to her early in October and she told them she would not do so without a lawyer–they allegedly returned with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury.
It is unclear if a grand jury has actually been empaneled in the case or if Lloyd was only called to appear in front of the grand jury because she refused to testify without a lawyer.
POLITICO reported last June that the probe may be clouding plans for Sen. Bernie Sanders to run for president in 2020 and that the investigation has taken a “toll on the family.”