RALEIGH – Greg Lindberg has made headlines over the last year as the focus of investigations into his business dealings, as well as his outsize political donations to both major political parties. Indeed, Lindberg, who owns multiple insurance companies, all of the sudden became the biggest political donor in the Old North State a couple years ago.
Local media were happy to report on the issue as the Durham-based mega-donor has most recently written huge checks for Republicans, but an FBI probe is focusing in on some problematic self-dealing by the businessman that appears to have been approved by the NC Department of Insurance under the leadership of former commissioner Wayne Goodwin.
Goodwin, a Democrat, is now the chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Lindberg was busy buying life insurers, raiding their cash stockpiles for his other businesses, and the shell game was apparently approved by regulators while Goodwin was still at the helm.
“A Wall Street Journal investigation published last month found that Greg Lindberg started buying life insurers in 2014, then invested as much as 50% of their assets in his own businesses, a move that some experts say has little precedent in recent decades in the staid insurance industry.
Mr. Lindberg masked the unusual flow of money from public scrutiny by channeling the related-party loans through intermediaries, then stating in regulatory filings that the funds were going to unaffiliated borrowers, regulatory filings and internal company documents show.
A spokesman for Mr. Lindberg said the strategy of investing in related parties was approved by North Carolina regulators under a former commissioner and was intended to provide better investment returns for his insurers, while also helping Mr. Lindberg build up his own businesses. He said regulators agreed at the time the intermediaries weren’t considered affiliates. […]”
The former commissioner obviously being Wayne Goodwin. When Republican Mike Causey bested Goodwin in the 2016 election, Lindberg requested that the NCGOP pay forward $250,000 of the $1 million he donated to the party to the new commissioner. Citing ethics concerns, Causey did not accept the funds. We know now that Causey was actually cooperating with authorities investigating Lindberg, and wore a wire to a key meeting with him. Lindberg previously donated to Goodwin’s reelection campaigns and the NCDP. Could Lindberg have been trying to make sure Causey would go along with the sketchy financial games that were given the green light by the former Democrat commissioner?
Read more about the maze of financial maneuvers that have authorities probing Lindberg from the Wall Street Journal. Judging by this report, we wouldn’t be surprised if authorities are already asking some uncomfortable questions of the Democrat former insurance commissioner.