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Former Oregon political leader pleads guilty in new fraud case

When a person or family in Oregon chooses to invest money in a company, they often place their trust in the person who is handling their investment, which may often be some sort of financial planner or company owner. Although all investments require some sort of risk on the part of the investor, these risks may be lessened if the person handling the actual money is honest, trustworthy and obeys the law. In bankruptcy situations that are complicated and dishonest, the effects may be far-reaching and may even continue for years to come. 

A former Oregon man has recently pled guilty to a scheme in Florida in which he sold fake shares of popular companies, and used the money he made to pay off creditors in Oregon from a former bankruptcy case. Although experts say it is too early to tell for sure, some are concerned that the money previously paid to creditors in Oregon may be taken back because it was given to the man as part of the new scheme.

If this is the case, creditors from the man’s original bankruptcy case may be left with nothing to show for their investments and a jury’s ruling that he pay them back. Before filing for the original bankruptcy in 2009, the man was a respected political figure in the state. With his current plea, he faces up to eight years in jail and may be forced to pay back each investor who purchased the fake shares in the new case. 

Although some people may take advantage of the process, bankruptcy may be a valid way for any person or family to get back on stable ground and prepared for a successful financial future.

Source: The Oregonian, “Craig Berkman’s guilty plea could cost his prior victims in Oregon,” Mike Rogoway, June 26, 2013

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