A former investment banker who admitted to "loaning" himself millions from his client’s accounts without their knowledge is a fundraiser and donor for John McCain’s presidential campaign and the Republican party.
In a 2006 interview with the Willamette Week newspaper, onetime Oregon venture capitalist Craig Berkman said that between 1998 and 2001 he borrowed $5 million from the investors whose funds he controlled, and failed to tell "most" of them what he had done.
Still, "I was a good steward of investors’ funds," Berkman told the paper’s reporter.
A two-year suit against Berkman was decided last month when a jury found he had defrauded investors and ordered him to pay them $28 million.
Berkman, a former chairman of the Oregon GOP, co-hosted a $1,000-a-plate fundraising luncheon for McCain in January, and has donated $4,600 to McCain’s campaign, the maximum allowable by law, the paper reported today.
In a March filing in his trial, Berkman said he owed debts of $12.5 million beyond what he was actually worth. Two months later, Berkman gave the Republican National Committee $23,900.
Berkman’s attorney, Paul George, said the contributions came from "moneys he is entitled to donate. The matters he was sued for involve moneys almost nine years ago."
Neither the McCain campaign nor the RNC immediately responded to a request for comment.