Fla. man, an ex-political official in Oregon, to face NY judge in $13M Facebook share case

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A Florida investment adviser and onetime Oregon gubernatorial candidate faces prison time for a $13 million securities fraud scheme that prosecutors say capitalized on enthusiasm for shares of Facebook and other Internet companies about to go public.

Craig L. Berkman of Odesa, Fla., is to be sentenced Monday in federal court in Manhattan. He pleaded guilty in June to securities fraud and wire fraud and agreed to serve between eight and 10 years in prison.

Berkman admitted he falsely claimed to investors that he owned shares of Facebook Inc., Groupon Inc., LinkedIn Inc., among other companies. He told investors their money would be used to buy shares of companies before their initial public offerings while over-representing the number of shares he owned.

Berkman also was once Oregon’s Republican party chairman.