Greg E. Lindberg, an insurance executive and a major GOP donor, was found guilty of attempted bribery and corruption on Thursday in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Lindberg was accused of attempting to “reduce scrutiny” on his company, and in exchange, he would make contributions to Commissioner Mike Causey’s reelection campaign funds, according to the Bradenton Herald. Lindberg was the founder and chairman of Eli Global LLC and the owner of Global Bankers Insurance Group (GBIG).
Lindberg and his consultant, John D. Gray, were convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and bribery following a three-week trial.
Causey is a Republican whom prosecutors said alerted law enforcement voluntarily about Lindberg and Gray and agreed to cooperate with authorities.
Several other individuals were acquitted by the jury including John V. Palermo, an executive at Eli Global. Robert Cannon Hayes, who had made false statements to the FBI, plead guilty to those charges in 2019.
“The defendants devised an elaborate plan to make a hefty campaign contribution to an elected official to secure favorable action. This was not a lapse in judgment. It was a deliberate bribery attempt and a clear violation of federal law. Public corruption is a threat to our way of life and if left unchecked it can tear apart the very fabric of our country,” Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, said in a statement.
“My office will continue to diligently ferret out public corruption schemes to protect the public and hold bad actors like these unscrupulous defendants accountable,” stated Murray.
Causey cooperated with the FBI in their investigation into Lindberg. In meetings with Lindberg, Causey wore wiretaps in order to record the conversations they had, which were ultimately used in the trial, according to ABC 11.
“Trial evidence further established that Lindberg and Gray gave, offered, and promised the commissioner millions of dollars in campaign contributions and other things of value, in exchange for the removal of NCDOI’s Senior Deputy Commissioner, who was responsible for overseeing regulation and the periodic examination of GBIG,” the statement read.
Following the end of the trial on Thursday, Causey said: “When I took office, I swore an oath to support and maintain the laws of this state and to faithfully discharge the duties of my office as Commissioner of Insurance. I also committed to rooting out insurance fraud and corruption wherever it may be, and to prosecute such fraud to the fullest extent of the law. It is with these guiding principles that I agreed to cooperate with the federal authorities in their investigation.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report