WASHINGTON - A federal grand jury is investigating whether to bring criminal charges in connection with a 1984 tax-exempt bond issue that financed the Syracuse, N.Y., headquarters of a major shopping mall developer.

U.S. attorneys in Syracuse refused to comment on the matter yesterday. But subpoenas sent earlier this month to officials affiliated with the issuer of the bonds and the project indicate that a grand jury is looking at whether there was a violation of the $10 million tax law limit for small-issue industrial development bonds.

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