Prosecutor asks 14 years for billionaire in bribery case
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A federal prosecutor said Wednesday that a billionaire Durham businessman should spend 14 years in prison for trying to bribe North Carolina’s top insurance regulator with large political contributions.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray laid out the prosecution’s sentencing recommendation against Greg Lindberg in a filing in federal court. Murray said that instead of showing contrition or remorse, the Durham businessman is unrepentant and blames others for his decision to offer a bribe to Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey.
“Despite the recorded evidence of his guilt, Lindberg has repeatedly attacked Commissioner Causey — most recently suing him in federal court — law enforcement, and the judicial process, by leveling meritless accusations that he was vindictively targeted,” Murray said in the statement.
Lindberg, along with associate John Gray, was convicted by a federal court in May of two corruption charges.
Prosecutors have said Lindberg conspired to funnel money to Causey in exchange for special treatment. In particular, Lindberg sought to replace or work around a senior deputy commissioner within Causey’s office whose job it was to scrutinize Lindberg’s Global Bankers Insurance Group, according to court documents.
Causey, who wasn’t accused of wrongdoing, alerted authorities and cooperated in the case against Lindberg.
Murray’s recommendation called for a 10-year sentence for Gray.
Sentencing is scheduled Aug. 19 before U.S. District Court Judge Max Cogburn.
Earlier this week, prosecutors asked a judge to give former North Carolina Rep. Robin Hayes no prison time for lying to the FBI about his role in the plan to try to bribe Causey. Hayes pleaded guilty in October to making a false statement in 2018 to FBI agents conducting an investigation while Hayes was state Republican Party chairman.