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Dec 16, 2013 10:15 PM by Jeff Langan

Florida man gets 6 years in New York Facebook share case

NEW YORK (AP) - A Florida investment adviser and onetime Oregon gubernatorial candidate has been sentenced to six years in prison in 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 Odessa, Fla., was 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 falsely claiming 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.

Berkman also was once Oregon's Republican party chairman.

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