A compulsive liar is a person who lies out of habit as their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions, and they typically lie about everything, large and small, and their habit makes telling the truth very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right. Willard Romney has proven himself to be a compulsive liar throughout the Republican primary and during the general election campaign, and it appears it has been his practice in business as well. Lying in court is especially egregious, and there is a report that Willard Romney committed perjury in his friend’s divorce proceedings, and it is not the first time he is accused of perjuring himself.
Romney often boasts that one of Bain’s success stories was the office supply chain Staples that his good friend Tom Stemberg founded. In 1988 when Stemberg was going through divorce proceedings, Romney testified on record that Staples stock was “over-valued,” and that he “didn’t place a great deal of credibility in the forecast of the company’s future.” Willard went on to testify that Stemberg spoke about the probability of success as if it was today and that “he minimized the risk and maximized the high probability of success, and the dream went on.” It was to Stemberg’s benefit to place little value on Staples stock to prevent his wife, Maureen Sullivan-Stemberg, from gaining from Staples equity and Romney’s testimony undervalued Stemberg’s primary asset in a fifty/fifty state.
However, if Romney truly believed Staples stock was “over-valued,” why was he, at the same time, making a deal between Stemberg and Goldman Sachs to take the company of no worth public? Because he was protecting his close friend from having to split fairly the assets from the marriage and depriving Stemberg’s ex-wife from her fair share according to the law. Some people may claim Romney made an honest miscalculation in not knowing if Staples stock was worthless or not, but as the first investor, a major shareholder, and board member, as with any corporation, he had a fiduciary responsibility to inform shareholders that the stock’s value was plunging. Either Romney lied about the worth of the stocks, or he was concealing the truth that Staples was a worthless investment and intended to fleece shareholders as he did in several other cases such as KB Toys.
Romney was not a stupid investor or business man, and he claims Staples is his “proudest achievement” on the campaign trail, but to claim a company is worthless at the same time he was in talks to take the company public and make millions informs his willingness to either perjure himself in court or shirk his fiduciary duty as a Staples’ board member. This was not a flip-flop on Romney’s part, it was either a deliberate lie to benefit his friend and cheat his ex-wife, or conceal important investment information from shareholders, but based on the fact he was dealing with Goldman Sachs to take the company public, it appears Romney was lying to deprive his friends ex-wife from her fair share of the marriage assets. It is also not the first time Romney has been accused of committing perjury.
In bankruptcy cases, a cardinal rule “mandates all disclosures of conflict of interest,” and according to 18 USCS § 152 (3) “A person who knowingly and fraudulently makes a false declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1s746 of title 28, in or in relation to any case under title 11 shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.” In 2001, Romney was “sole shareholder, director, and President of Sankaty Ltd. and thus is the controlling person of Sankaty, Ltd,” and Sankaty applied for payment of administrative expenses from Stage Stores, a company in which Romney was controlling shareholder, and by not disclosing conflict of interest, he committed perjury according to USCS § 152 (3). In a case often cited as precedent, a lawyer, failed to report conflict of interest and he went to prison, paid a fine, and settled for millions-of-dollars for simply not alerting the court he had a conflict of interest.
Willard Romney is a liar and there can be little doubt he failed to disclose conflict of interest in bankruptcy court. He also knew Staples was not a worthless company or he would not have been making a deal with Goldman Sachs to take the company public at the same time he told a judge Staples stock was “over-valued” and that he “didn’t place a great deal of credibility in the forecast of the company’s future.” In those business deals, Romney was not lying because “telling the truth was very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right,” he lied to deprive his friend’s ex-wife from her rightful due and to prevent his friend from losing half his Staples investment. He lies were purely for profit and not out of a pathological condition or mental disorder.
Romney cannot be trusted on myriad levels, but especially when it comes to money. He conceals hundreds-of-millions of dollars offshore to avoid paying taxes, and he lies about his tax plan that will save him millions. When a person lies in court, whether bankruptcy or divorce court, it is simply perjury, and it is to deceive the court. The statute of limitations expired in the Stemberg divorce case, but in bankruptcy court it is a different story and Romney needs to face the full weight of the law like any other American who deliberately and with malice aforethought commits perjury whether it is to protect his friends investment, deprive a woman of her share of marriage property, or to deceive a bankruptcy judge of conflict of interest.