Romney may have committed felony lying about role with Bain

This is big news, as it backs up what the Obama campaign has been alleging – that Romney was still in charge of Bain when it outsourced US jobs – and this directly contradicts Factcheck.org’s claim otherwise. From the Boston Globe:

Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time.

Romney has said he left Bain in 1999 to lead the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ending his role in the company. But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.”

Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.

It should be noted that David Corn broke this story a few weeks ago in a great piece everyone should read, though the Globe appears to have found additional disclosure forms to back up their case.

Oh but it gets worse. As Factcheck.org so graciously pointed out, if Mitt Romney lied in any federal forms about the extent of his role with Bain, Romney may have committed a felony.  From Factcheck.org:

If the Obama campaign is correct [that Romney remained at Bain past 1999], then Romney is guilty of lying on official federal disclosure forms, committing a felony. But we don’t see evidence of that.

Here’s what Romney has said:

Mitt Romney Public Financial Disclosure Report, Aug. 11, 2011: Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.

Romney’s signature appears on the line that states: “I certify that statements I have made on this form and all attached schedules are true, complete and correct to the best of my knowledge.”

Making false statements to the federal government is a serious crime (under 18 USC 1001) carrying possible fines and up to five years in federal prison.

Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod has already weighed in on Twitter:

Based on Globe report, either Bain filed false SEC statements 1999-2002 about Mitt’s status, or his campaign is making false statements now.

But Axelrod isn’t even right about how bad this is. It’s not an “either-or.”

1. Romney told the SEC that he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” up until 2002.

2. But Romney said in a more recent financial disclosure form that he left Bain in 1999 – so the two federal forms contradict each other, at least one is a lie:

Mitt Romney Public Financial Disclosure Report, Aug. 11, 2011: Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.

In other words, Romney lied to the federal government either way. Either to the SEC, or in his more recent financial dislocure forms.  And either one appears to be a felony.

Interestingly, Politico now has up a post echoing what I already wrote, and reaching the same conclusion about a felony.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • laserDliquidator

    If you ever desire to know the “whole” story of why Romney lied upon his OGE 278 Form – I’m reachable at laser (dot) haas @ yahoo)

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