A North Carolina life insurance company founder is rejecting federal prosecutor allegations that he tried to bribe the state’s insurance commissioner, Mike Causey.
Greg Lindberg — the owner of Global Bankers Insurance Group of Durham, North Carolina — says he was simply trying to get the North Carolina Department of Insurance to give Global Bankers another examiner, because he felt the examiner was badmouthing him, not trying to secure any particular outcome.
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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that, under federal law, bribery must involve an official act that benefits the payer, Lindberg says in a memorandum supporting his motion for dismissal of the indictment.
“This is not a case where a financially unstable company receives a regulatory pass in exchange for campaign donations,” according to the memorandum. “Rather, Mr. Lindberg was exercising his right to engage in political speech, to advocate for a robust yet fair regulatory environment for his company.”
North Carolina elects its insurance commissioners.
In 2016, Lindberg supported Wayne Goodwin, Causey’s opponent, and he helped Goodwin sponsor negative ad campaigns against Causey.
Lindberg says that, in 2017, when Causey became commissioner, and he asked Causey for a new examiner for Global Bankers, Causey brought up the topic of campaign contributions.