Fox 19's Ben Swann has recently reported on the issue of Mitt Romney and the Bain Capital felony charge leveled by the Obama campaign. In his reporting he lays out what Team Obama has put forth as it's argument, as well as, what Mitt Romney himself has said, filed in federal documents and also what Bain Capital has filed in federal documents. While I venture that many will be upset that I even bring this up, I think it important to be honest about the issue.

The real issue at stake in all of this is when Mitt Romney actually left Bain Capital. Was it in February of 1999 or later on in 2002 and does it even matter?

Romney stated in a federal disclosure form filed on August 12, 2011,

"Since February 11, 1999, (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."

On a recent financial disclosure form filed on June 1, 2012 Romney stated just this very thing.

According to the Boston Globe, the story Romney is telling is different that what the SEC was told. Government documents that were filed by both Romney and Bain Capital claim that Romney remained chief executive and chairman of Bain three years beyond 1999. He claimed to have left Bain in 1999 to lead the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT which ended his role in the company. However, SEC documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm's "sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president."

A Massachusetts disclosure form that he filed in 2003 states that he also owned one hundred percent of Bain Capital in 2002 and his state disclosures indicate that he earned at least $100,000 as an executive in 2001 and 2002 and those are separate from investment earnings.

So how do the Romney campaign and Bain Capital explain this?

Both have suggested the SEC filings that show Romney as the "man in charge" during those additional three years have little meaning and that they are the result of legal "technicalities."

Bain Capital released a statement in regards to this issue:

"Mitt Romney retired from Bain Capital in February 1999. He has had no involvement in the management or investment activities of Bain Capital, or with any of its portfolio companies, since that time."

There have been 9 SEC filings submitted by four different business entities after February 1999 that describe Mitt Romney as Bain Capital's boss. In fact, some show him with managerial control over five Bain Capital entities that were formed in January 2002. This is according to records that were filed in Delaware where they were incorporated.

A former SEC commissioner told the Globe that SEC documents listing Romney as Bain's chief executive between 1999 and 2002 cannot be dismissed so easily.

This is where the Obama campaign has hit hard. The Obama campaign attorney, Robert Bauer, said on July 12 that there could be severe consequences for individuals and companies that lie to the SEC. Bauer said,

"If in fact as he now claims that he was not active with the company, that he was not the controlling person that is described here, that means that these statements are false and as I said, there are very, very serious legal consequences that would follow."

So here's the breakdown, in order for Mitt Romney to be telling the truth, he could not have been running Bain, but nothing in his SEC filings stated that he wasn't being paid or that he didn't own Bain Capital. There is a difference. The technicality is that he "wasn't actively involved as a manager or in investing activities."

Swann points out that newspaper reports attest to the fact that he was working 16 hours a day on the Salt Lake City Olympics. If Romney is telling the truth and was only involved in Bain as a "figurehead" and drawing a salary, then there is no issue. However, if it ever comes out that he was involved in managing any of Bain's activities or investing activities in 2000-2002, then he would be guilty of lying on official federal disclosure forms, thus committing a federal felony.

We can count on the fact that people on both sides of this are investigating the issue.

This information is just so that people have a grasp of what the issue is. The issue is not how much money Mitt Romney made. Capitalism is a good thing. Owning your own business is a good thing. Supplying jobs to people is a good thing and in the end telling the truth is a good thing too.

The above is mostly transcribed from the report. To view the entire video click below.

UPDATE: Marc Walpow worked at Bain in 1994 during Romney's senate campaign. How did he characterize Romney's role while he was on leave?

“I reported directly to Mitt Romney . . . You can’t be CEO of Bain Capital and say, `I really don’t know what my guys were doing,’” Mr. Wolpow said of Mr. Romney role at the company during his leave.

Wolpow left Bain in July, 1999. A report at the time dated July 19, 1999 made mention of the fact that Romney was "currently on a part-time leave of absence to head the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee for the 2002 Games."

UPDATE 2:Romney actually claimed on national television in a Republican presidential debate on November 9, 2011 to work for Bain for 25 years. He started in 1977 at Bain and 25 years would take him up to 2002. Listen for yourself.

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