Former N.C. congressman gets probation in federal bribery case, billionaire donor sentenced to 7 years

Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 11:41 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina billionaire Greg Lindberg was sentenced to 7.25 years in prison Wednesday in a federal bribery case involving a former congressman and an associate.

Former Congressman Robin Hayes pleaded guilty last October to one count of making false statements to FBI agents who were investigating efforts by Lindberg to pay bribes to the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner.

Hayes was sentenced to one year of probation and a $9,500 fine Wednesday.

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Lindberg and an associate, John Gray, were convicted by a jury in March on federal bribery and other related charges.

Gray was sentenced to about 2.5 years in prison.

A second Lindberg associate was acquitted.

The scheme revolved around a plan from Lindberg to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey in an effort to get Causey to remove a senior regulator in his office who was auditing one of Lindberg’s insurance companies.

“This is a bad case,” the judge said of Lindberg’s behavior.

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Hayes, who, at the time, was chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, agreed to funnel $250,000 from Lindberg through the party and to Causey’s campaign as a way of facilitating the bribe without triggering campaign finance limits.

Federal investigators were tipped off to the scheme by Causey, who cooperated with investigators and made secret recordings that were played for the jury at trial.

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