Lindberg could face retrial on bribery, fraud charges in March

United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Former N.C. political donor Greg Lindberg could face a new trial on federal bribery and fraud charges as early as March.
  • Federal lawyers have presented Lindberg's lawyers with a discovery production involving 6.4 million documents.
  • The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Lindberg's earlier conviction. Appellate judges ruled that a judge's mistake in jury instructions "infected" Lindberg's case.

The federal government plans to retry former N.C. political donor Greg Lindberg on bribery and fraud charges as early as March. A document filed Friday in U.S. District Court mentioned that date.

Previous court filings suggest the trial could take place just as Lindberg expects the birth of his latest child.

Authorities argue that Lindberg attempted to bribe state Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey with “more than $2 million” after Causey’s 2016 election. Causey worked with federal law enforcement officials to collect evidence against Lindberg and associates.

Lindberg was convicted in March 2020 and was sentenced later to a seven-year federal prison term. But the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out that conviction last June. Appellate judges ruled that mistakes in Judge Max Cogburn’s jury instructions had “infected” Lindberg’s convictions.

The document filed Friday dealt only indirectly with Lindberg. Federal attorneys filed a “motion for inquiry” about the lawyer for Lindberg associate John Gray. Gray had been convicted alongside Lindberg in the case.

U.S. government attorneys write that it’s unclear who will represent Gray in a second trial. While an attorney from the Parker Poe Adams and Bernstein law firm has been taking part in ongoing discussions, “he has not yet been retained in the case.”

“The retrial of this matter is currently scheduled for the Court’s March 2023 criminal term,” according to the four-page motion.

The document also signaled the large number of documents associated with the case. “On November 21, 2022, … the United States made a discovery production to Defendant Lindberg which consisted of over 6.4 million pages of documents,” according to the motion. “The United States intended to make this production to Defendant Gray at the same time but was unable to do so because he has no attorney of record.”

The latest details in the federal case arrive less than a month after Cogburn rejected Lindberg’s attempt to end GPS monitoring while he awaits his new trial.

“The concerns previously expressed by the Government continue to exist,” Cogburn wrote in a Nov. 10 order. “Mr. Lindberg now lives in Tampa, Florida, where, according to the Government, he has ready access to both his ocean-going yacht and airplane.”

“The Government has also indicated that Lindberg continues to have significant overseas business interest and assets available to him outside of the United States,” Cogburn added. “As for Defendant’s contention that he has no incentive to flee because he has a growing family with an additional child on the way, the Court is not persuaded.”

“Here, Lindberg’s knowledge of an ongoing criminal investigation into his business practices and the potential for additional criminal charges, as well as the knowledge that he was previously convicted by a jury which resulted in his going to federal prison to serve an 87-month sentence, and the recent civil action filed against him by the SEC provide an incentive for him to flee,” the judge concluded. “The Court finds that location monitoring is a reasonable restriction in light of Lindberg’s motivation and ability to flee.”

A Nov. 8 court filing from Lindberg had disputed the government’s argument that he’s a flight risk.

“Mr. Lindberg lives in a permanent home in Tampa with his significant other and five of his children — all under the age of three, and two under the age of one,” according to the brief. “He regularly sees his other children in Tampa when they visit him on a monthly basis. He is also expecting another child in March of 2023.”

In addition to the fraud and bribery charges, Lindberg learned in August about a new federal complaint from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC accuses Lindberg of raiding his own insurance companies in a “massive fraudulent scheme.”

Cogburn’s schedule shows the Lindberg and Gray cases scheduled for a “docket call” on March 6, 2023. There is no word yet on when new trials will take place.