Oregon

Jury Finds Craig Berkman Liable For $28 Million

OPB | June 13, 2008 8:30 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:15 a.m. | Portland, OR

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By Andrew Theen

A Multnomah County jury ruled Thursday that businessman and former Oregon Republican party Chair Craig Berkman is liable for theft, negligence and breach of contract.

Punitive damages were announced Friday, meaning Berkman is liable for $28 million total.

Berkman was accused of negligence and breach of contract for three failed venture capital funds.  A group of more than 80 investors took the prominent Portland political figure to court five years ago.

Steve English is one of the lead attorneys on the case.  He said the investors are happy, but they won't recoup all of the $75 million they invested in Berkman's ventures.

Steve English: “On behalf of my clients, some of whom have had their money wrapped up in this since, some as early as late 1997, I think it is a welcome resolution to this unfortunate saga.”

The jury also held the defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen liable for another $23 million for committing fraud. 

English said it's unclear what Berkman's assets amount to. 

Berkman can appeal the judgment.

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