The Boston Globe reports that according to corporate filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mitt Romney remained CEO of Bain Capital until 2002, three years after he has claimed he left the company. If Romney really did leave Bain in 1999, as he claims, those filings could expose him to legal jeopardy, former SEC commissioner Roberta Karmel told the Globe:
Karmel, the former SEC commissioner, said the contradictory statements could have legal implications in some instances. “If someone invested with Bain Capital because they believed Mitt Romney was a great fund manager, and it turns out he wasn’t really doing anything, that could be considered a misrepresentation to the investor,’’ she said. “It’s a theory that could be used in a lawsuit against him.”And if Romney didn’t leave Bain in 1999? Well, for one thing, that would mean he’s been lying for years, and his defense that he didn’t have anything to do with outsourcing the company was involved in from 1999-2002 would fall apart. But that’s not all. As Politico’s Dylan Byers points out, earlier this month FactCheck.org wrote that if the Obama campaign were correct that Romney was still at Bain after 1999, “Romney would be guilty of a federal felony”:
The Obama complaint claims we erred in saying Mitt Romney gave up active management of Bain Capital in early 1999 to run the 2002 Winter Olympics, insisting we were then wrong in saying Romney was not responsible for shipping U.S. jobs overseas. In fact, if the Obama campaign were correct, Romney would be guilty of a federal felony by certifying on federal financial disclosure forms that he left active management of Bain Capital in February 1999. […] 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.So either Romney left Bain in 1999 and the SEC filings are wrong and Romney could be exposed to a lawsuit from a misled investor, or Romney didn’t leave Bain in 1999, in which case Romney would’ve committed a felony punishable by up to five years in federal prison by falsely claiming on financial disclosure forms that he had done so.