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Press Release

Chairman of Multinational Investment Company and Company Consultant Convicted of Bribery Scheme at Retrial

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal jury in Charlotte, North Carolina, convicted the founder and chairman of a multinational investment company and a company consultant yesterday after a retrial for orchestrating a bribery scheme involving independent expenditure accounts and improper campaign contributions. 

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from April 2017 to August 2018, Greg E. Lindberg, 54, of Durham, North Carolina, the founder and chairman of Eli Global LLC and the owner of Global Bankers Insurance Group (GBIG), and Lindberg’s consultant, John D. Gray, 73, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, engaged in a bribery scheme involving independent expenditure committees and improper campaign contributions for the purpose of causing the Commissioner of Insurance (Commissioner) of the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) to take official action favorable to Lindberg’s company, GBIG. Lindberg and Gray gave, offered, and promised the Commissioner millions of dollars in campaign contributions and other things of value in exchange for the removal of NCDOI’s Senior Deputy Commissioner, who was responsible for overseeing the regulation and the periodic examination of GBIG. 

Lindberg, Gray, and the Commissioner held numerous in-person meetings at different locations and had telephonic and other communications with each other, a third codefendant, Robert Cannon Hayes, 74, of Concord, North Carolina, and others to discuss Lindberg’s request for the personnel change in exchange for millions of dollars, and to devise a plan on how to funnel campaign contributions to the Commissioner anonymously. To conceal the bribery scheme, Lindberg directed the establishment of two corporate entities to form independent expenditure committees with the purpose of supporting the Commissioner’s re-election campaign. Lindberg then funded the entities with $1.5 million, as promised to the Commissioner. In addition, at Lindberg’s and Gray’s direction, Hayes caused the transfer of $250,000 from monies Lindberg had previously contributed to a North Carolina state party, which Hayes chaired, to the Commissioner’s re-election campaign.

The jury convicted Lindberg and Gray of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. They face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Hayes pleaded guilty in October 2019 to making false statements to the FBI.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Dena J. King for the Western District of North Carolina; Assistant Director Michael Nordwall of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division; and Special Agent in Charge Robert M. DeWitt of the FBI Charlotte Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI Charlotte Field Office investigated the case.

Trial Attorney William Gullotta of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lawrence Cameron and Dana Washington for the Western District of North Carolina are prosecuting the case.

Updated May 16, 2024

Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 24-617