As we’ve reported on previously, it turns out that Jane Sanders (Bernie’s wife), formerly president of the now-defunct Burlington College, runs colleges about as well as Bernie would’ve run a country.
Mrs. Sanders served as president from 2004-2011. The small liberal arts college went bankrupt in May of 2016, and while she was no longer the school’s president, all eyes were on her.
After all, it was Jane Sanders who took on a massive amount of debt in a fruitless effort to expand the school in the years leading up to her departure. It’s ironic, considering her husband’s policies would have the same, albeit at the national level.
While it’s no crime to take on debt, part of the FBI probe was to determine if Sanders provided her creditors with faulty information (such as over-estimating the amount of donations the college was expected to receive) when applying for the loans in question. It turns out that she did — promising that the school would be receiving $2.6 million in future donations, when in reality it only ended up collecting 25 percent of that. The FBI was also concerned that Jane used her husband’s status as a Senator to put “improper pressure” on the bank which provided her loan.
Financial crime is the only crime where the perpetrator is often glorified (at least in the movies — see The Wolf of Wall Street), but it’s important to remember that there are real victims as a result of the Sanders’, and the “99 percent” they claim to champion.
As the Burlington Free Press reported:
When Burlington College closed, it left a trail of debt — not only to the bank that held its loans, but also to local contractors who had worked to make the new campus attractive to prospective students.
All of the college’s property has been sold, and the proceeds were not nearly enough to cover the institution’s debts. Burlington College owed nearly $1 million more than its assets, and it now seems likely that those contractors will never be paid.
Among those contractors screwed out of a paycheck were:
>The People’s United Bank, $3,828,944, including interest and the costs of the July foreclosure auction. The bank settled $3.1 million of the debt by buying the final piece of college property and development rights in a July foreclosure auction, leaving a court-approved deficiency judgment of $728,944, plus interest.
>Neagley & Chase Construction Company in South Burlington holds a lien of $6,600 plus interest, attorney’s fees and penalties for cutting a large opening through a concrete wall at the Burlington College campus in summer 2015.
>New England Floor Covering in Burlington is owed $13,295 plus interest, attorney’s fees and penalties for work done in summer 2015.
>MEI Electrical Contractors, based in Jay and Williston, holds a lien for $5,388 after replacing lighting in the Burlington College lobby in summer and fall 2015.
>D.S. Specialties, Inc. in Mooers, New York, holds a lien for $6,811 plus interest, attorney’s fees and penalties for doors, frames and hardware provided under a summer 2015 contract.
>The estate of former Burlington College faculty member Jason Conway held a $70,000 mortgage on the college property after settling a lawsuit over misuse of an endowment intended for student scholarships.
>The owner of Vermont Tent Company says his records indicate Burlington College failed to pay $1,365 of a bill for graduation-related labor and rentals.
>The Vermont Economic Development Authority granted Burlington College a $250,000 loan in July 2014. Executive Director Jo Bradley says a $144,000 debt remains, and VEDA does not expect to be paid.
Not only that, but the State of Vermont is out $52,000 in costs incurred to preserve and administer former Burlington College student records in the wake of the closure.
Granted, this is nowhere near as bad as the consequences of the $18 trillion in additional debt her husband would’ve added to our nation’s books had he been elected president, but that’s a high bar to clear.