Craig Berkman

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Craig Berkman
Born Craig Lamont Willoughby
(1941-08-12) August 12, 1941 (age 76)[1]
Sioux City, Iowa, United States
Alma mater Madison High School
Wheaton College
University of California, Berkeley
Lewis & Clark Law School
Criminal status Incarcerated
Spouse(s) Susan
Karen Hinsdale (until 2002)
Mary Ann Farrell Karlsson
Children two daughters with Susan

Craig L. Berkman (born August 12, 1941)[1] is an American venture capitalist and a Republican politician in the U.S. state of Oregon. He was known as a major donor in national Republican circles. He chaired the Oregon Republican Party in the early 1990s, opposing the far right Oregon Citizens Alliance. He ran for chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1993 and for Governor of Oregon in 1996, losing the former race to Haley Barbour and the latter to Denny Smith in the primary election.[2]

Berkman served as Oregon’s state Republican Party chairman from 1989 to 1993 and ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for Governor of Oregon in 1994.[3]

He was arrested in March 2013 in the Tampa, Florida suburb of Odessa, where he has a $3.94 million home,[4][5][6] on charges of selling pre-IPO shares of Facebook.[7]

In June 2013, Berkman pleaded guilty to securities and wire fraud at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.[5][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] On December 16, 2013, he was sentenced to 6 years in prison, and will be required to repay $8.4 million to investors.[15]

Early life and education[edit]

Craig Berkman was born Craig Lamont Willoughby in Sioux City, Iowa.[4] His biological father was Roford "Pinky" Berkman.[1] Craig Berkman was raised poor in the Roseway neighborhood of Portland, Oregon.[4] As Craig Berkman, he graduated from Madison High School, went to Wheaton College in Illinois on a scholarship and later earned graduate degrees from University of California, Berkeley and Lewis & Clark Law School.[4][5][1] Berkman was a trustee of Lewis & Clark College.[16]

Work history[edit]

In 1971, Berkman worked for a brief period on the staff of Portland city commissioner (council member) Connie McCready.[1] He was elected in 1978 to the Metropolitan Service District's council, in Portland, where fellow councillors named him chairman, and served from 1979 to 1981. He quit in 1981 after his business interests began taking so much time that he had been missing more than half of the council meetings.[1]

Berkman was chairman of the Oregon Republican Party from 1989–1993. He was chairman of high-technology and medical equipment companies. He worked as an administrative aide at his alma mater Lewis & Clark College.[1]

Criminal history[edit]

Berkman has been accused of fraud for decades. Sentenced to six years in prison for a scheme that cost investors $16 million in investments.[6][17][18][19][20]

Personal life[edit]

Berkman was married to Susan Woodward. They had two daughters.[1]

Berkman was married to Karen Hinsdale-Berkman, who is the owner of wine shop The Cellar Door, on the board of directors of Self Enhancement Inc., and secretary of the Oregon Republican Foundation.[21][22][23][24] Their divorce was settled in 2002.[23]

Berkman is now married to Mary Ann Farrell Karlsson (also known as Mary Ann Karlsson-Berkman), a former New York Miss America contestant and Jacksonville, Florida native.[25][26][17][27][28]

Honors and awards[edit]

Berkman and his wife Karen Hinsdale-Berkman were awarded the University Advancement Award for the 2000–2001 year by the Portland State University Alumni Association.[29]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Walth, Brent (April 17, 1994). "Candidate profile [of Craig Berkman]: Something to prove". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. pp. 1A, 4A. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  2. ^ Mapes, Jeff (May 30, 2008). "The ever-charming Craig Berkman". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  3. ^ "United States of America before the Securities and Exchange Commission" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  4. ^ a b c d Jaquiss, Nigel (January 24, 2006). "The Talented Mr. Berkman: The rise and fall of Portland's best-known venture capitalist". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  5. ^ a b c Rogoway, Mike (June 26, 2013). "Craig Berkman's guilty plea could cost his prior victims in Oregon". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  6. ^ a b Lewis, Al (March 22, 2013). "An alleged scheme to pay off the last scheme". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  7. ^ Kish, Matthew (March 19, 2013). "Craig Berkman arrested over sales of pre-IPO Facebook shares". Portland Business Journal. 
  8. ^ "Former Oregon candidate pleads guilty to fraud involving Facebook shares". New York Daily News. Reuters. June 25, 2013. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  9. ^ Vaughan, Bernard (June 25, 2013). "Former Oregon politician pleads guilty to Facebook IPO fraud". Reuters. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  10. ^ Van Voris, Bob (June 25, 2013). "Ex-Candidate Pleads Guilty in Phony Facebook Share Scam". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-12-01. (Subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ "Craig Berkman Pleads Guilty in Facebook Fraud". Willamette Week. June 25, 2013. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  12. ^ "Florida Investment Fund Manager Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court In Connection With $13 Million Securities Fraud Scheme" (Press release). U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York. June 25, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  13. ^ Neumeister, Larry (June 26, 2013). "Fla. man pleads guilty in $13M Facebook share case". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  14. ^ Van Voris, Bob (June 25, 2013). "Former Candidate Pleads Guilty in Phony Facebook Share Scam (1)". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  15. ^ Manning, Jeff (December 17, 2013). "Craig Berkman, financier and former Oregon governor candidate, gets 6 years in prison for fraud". The Oregonian. p. A5. Retrieved December 17, 2013. 
  16. ^ Craig L. Berkman. "Craig Berkman: Executive Profile & Biography". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  17. ^ a b Huntley, Helen (February 23, 2006). "Financier nests in Tampa Bay; Newcomer with a past". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2013-12-01. (Subscription required (help)). 
  18. ^ Rood, Justin (September 7, 2008). "For McCain, Another Problem Fundraiser". ABC News. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  19. ^ Kish, Matthew (March 22, 2013). "Berkman investors bruised years later". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  20. ^ Kerr, Dara (March 19, 2013). "SEC probe on Facebook pre-IPO sales ends in financier's arrest | Internet & Media". CNET News. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  21. ^ Binole, Gina (June 6, 1999). "The Sultan of Splitsville". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  22. ^ "The Oregon Republican Foundation". Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  23. ^ a b WW Editorial Staff (October 30, 2007). "We feel "relevant."". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  24. ^ "Welcome to the Oregon State Bar Online". Oregon State Bar. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  25. ^ Harrington, Jeff (March 20, 2013). "Shaky past didn't keep investors from Odessa's Craig Berkman". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  26. ^ Liberto, Jennifer (July 23, 2008). "Donor's dollars passed to charity". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  27. ^ Mosk, Matthew (July 23, 2008). "Big GOP Donor Faced Trouble Back Home". The Washington Post. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  28. ^ Melendez, Eleazar David (March 19, 2013). "Facebook Shares Fraud Helped Investment Manager Pay Off Previous Fines: SEC". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  29. ^ "University Advancement Award Recipients" (PDF). Portland State University. Retrieved 2017-07-14.