NC GOP Chairperson Robin Hayes was indicted Tuesday, along with a prolific North Carolina political donor, for an alleged 2018 scheme to bribe the state’s insurance commissioner.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice statement, Hayes was charged with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, bribery and three counts of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“Thanks to the voluntary reporting of the North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance, we have uncovered an alleged scheme to violate our federal public corruption laws,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray. “Improper campaign contributions erode the public’s trust in our political institutions. We will work with our law enforcement partners to investigate allegations of public corruption, safeguard the integrity of the democratic process and prosecute those who compromise it.”
Greg Lindberg, founder of Eli Global, an international investment firm, allegedly promised $2 million to N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey to replace the Senior Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Insurance. Lindberg allegedly sought to have an Eli Global executive, John Palermo, hired into the DOI. Palermo raised the topic with Causey at a closed Chapel Hill restaurant last February, the indictment alleges.
Hayes later channelled Lindberg’s $250,000 donation to the NCGOP to the insurance commissioner's 2020 campaign. Lindberg placed an additional $1.5 million into an independent expenditure committee for the commissioner’s reelection.