NC Insurance Commissioner Wore Wire for FBI in Probe of Political Mega-Donor

RALEIGH – Greg Lindberg is a wealthy business man from Durham that in recent years has become the largest political donor in the Old North State. It wasn’t exclusive to one party, either; Lindberg has donated millions to politicians and PACs on both sides.

Being that Lindberg’s business interest focus on the insurance industry, he donated heavily to former Insurance Commissioner (current N.C. Democratic Party chairman) Wayne Goodwin. In 2016 he started cutting big checks for the NCGOP, and asked that some of that money be directed toward the new Insurance Commissioner, Republican Mike Causey.

All of the activity caught the interest of the FBI, and Causey, who refused the Lindberg donations via the NCGOP, was apparently used as an asset in the investigation. Causey wore a wire for the FBI and attended a meeting with NCGOP chairman Robin Hayes and Lindberg.

From WBTV:

“Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey made a secret recording of a meeting he attended along with a wealthy donor and the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, according to two sources with knowledge the meeting or the contents of the recording.

The meeting took place between Causey, NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes, a Durham businessman named Greg Lindberg and one of his associates.

Lindberg is the subject of a federal investigation being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.

The investigation is probing potential financial crimes related to Lindberg’s expansive business empire as well as public corruption allegations stemming from Lindberg’s reported efforts to buy the cooperation of politicians in North Carolina.

Lindberg has donated millions of dollars to the NCGOP—as well as written six-figure checks to the North Carolina Democratic Party—in recent years. […]”

According to these reports, citing people that have heard the audio, the recording captures Lindberg asking Hayes that a $250,000 portion of his party contribution be directed specifically to Causey. There are, of course, individual limits for political contributions, while the state party can donate as much as they want. It’s at least a legal gray area, as best we can tell, when a big donor funnels money through the party to exceed the individual limit on contributions to a political campaign.

Read more from WBTV on NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse’s comments on the issue, as well as the corruption and campaign finance probe centered around Lindberg.

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