NuScale seeks federal help to secure $30M
By Erik Siemers
Business Journal staff writer
Embattled NuScale is seeking federal help against one-time Oregon financier Craig Berkman.
As NuScale Power Inc. works to secure a $30 million investment from Fluor Corp., the federal Securities & Exchange Commission is asking a federal court judge to turn away the efforts of two parties looking to block the deal.
Among those looking to intervene is Craig Berkman, a one-time Oregon-based financier who was accused of defrauding investors in several funds in a case that resulted in a $58 million judgment in favor of the investors.
Now in Florida, Berkman’s Ventures Trust Management LLC investment fund, according to federal court documents, is seeking to block a count-appointed receiver from selling a controlling share of Corvallis-based NuScale so that it can put in its own competing bid.
A similar request was made last month by Ramon Illarramendi, the father of the man whose Ponzi scheme left NuScale in financial turmoil.
The SEC claims both parties have come forward “at the eleventh hour with no explanation for their delay” in an apparent effort to derail the transaction with Fluor, a Texas-based engineering firm.
Neither Berkman nor Illarramendi are viable buyers of the company, the SEC argues in court filings.
“Mr. Berkman does not have credibility in the energy markets, and certainly does not have the market recognition or financial wherewithal of Fluor,” the SEC wrote in a court documents filed earlier this week. “And like Mr. Illarramendi, VTM and Mr. Berkman have provided no basis for their claim that they have the ability and financial wherewithal to purchase the receiver’s interest in NuScale.”
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