Politics & Government

Defendant in federal bribery case that snared NC GOP official wants charges dismissed

Businessman Greg Lindberg is asking a federal court to throw out his indictment on bribery charges in a case that also ensnared the then-chairman of North Carolina’s Republican Party.

Lindberg filed the motion Wednesday in the Charlotte-based court’s Western District.

Lindberg and two associates, along with then-GOP Chairman Robin Hayes, were indicted last spring on charges of conspiracy and bribery for their alleged attempts to influence state Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, a Republican.

The four have each pleaded not guilty. They’re scheduled for trial in November.

Lindberg, a major Republican contributor, owns Durham-based Eli Global, LLC, an investment company, as well as Global Bankers Insurance Group, a managing company for several insurance and reinsurance companies. This week it was announced that Global Growth, LLC, is the new parent company of Lindberg’s holdings, which he continues to own.

The indictment claimed the defendants offered Causey millions of dollars in campaign contributions in exchange for specific “official action” favorable to Lindberg’s company, namely the removal of a certain deputy commissioner.

In their motion to dismiss, Lindberg’s lawyers rely in part on a 2016 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the bribery conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and established higher standards for proving corruption. The court said the definition of “official acts” was too broad.

“The government’s entire case against Greg E. Lindberg turns on a legally flawed understanding of what constitutes an ‘official act,’” the motion said. “. . . There is a real risk that the government’s dubious theory for prosecuting Mr. Lindberg would chill elected officials from responding to the demands of their constituents.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment.

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