Federal Investigation Into Jane O'Meara Sanders' Land Deal Reportedly Dropped

Nov 13, 2018

A federal attorney in Vermont has reportedly dropped an investigation into a land deal made by Jane O'Meara Sanders, the wife of independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

According to Jeff Weaver, a spokesperson for the Sanderses, O'Meara Sanders has been informed that Vermont's U.S. attorney has concluded its investigation and will not bring charges. 

Weaver issued the following statement Tuesday:

"Jane Sanders has been informed that the U.S. Attorney in Vermont has closed its investigation of the Burlington College land deal and has decided not to bring charges of any kind.

"Jane is grateful that the investigation has come to an end. As she has said from the beginning she has done nothing wrong and Jane is pleased that the matter has now come to a conclusion."

Kraig LaPorte, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Vermont, said the office cannot confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. LaPorte said the office does communicate with "represented parties."

More from VPR — Making Sense Of The Federal Investigation Into Burlington College Land Deal [Jan. 2018]

Federal investigators were reportedly looking into a land deal O'Meara Sanders made in 2010 when she was president of Burlington College. Sanders allegedly overstated planned donations to the school in an application for the loan used to buy 33 acres of land.

In January of 2016, Vermont GOP Vice Chair Brady Toensing wrote a letter to federal officials calling for "an investigation into what appears to be federal loan fraud" regarding the sale of land owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington to the college.

In the wake of Tuesday's reports about the status of the investigation, Toensing issued the following statement:

"It is a shame Burlington College Students, the Catholic Diocese, hard-working Vermont tradesmen, and others lost so much as a result of Ms. Sanders’s misconduct, but I am pleased that the matter was professionally investigated and assessed.

"Criminal standards are extremely high, but now that the investigation is over, I look forward to a full explanation from Senator Sanders and his wife about the financial discrepancies in her loan application and the Senator’s involvement in procuring the loan."

Burlington College closed in the spring of 2016.

Update 4:34 p.m. This post was updated to include comment from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Vermont.