The wealthy founder and chairman of the investment company that owns Beckett Media has been sentenced to over seven years in prison for orchestrating a bribery scheme involving independent expenditure accounts and improper political campaign contributions in North Carolina.
Lindberg’s consultant, John D. Gray, 70, of Chapel Hill, was ordered to serve 30 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Lindberg and Gray were also ordered to pay approximately $1.45 million held in accounts FBI investigators say were established for the purpose of funneling the bribe payments.
On March 5, a federal jury convicted Lindberg and Gray of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds following an approximately three-week trial. Charges had been filed following an FBI sting operation.
“When Greg Lindberg and John Gray offered millions of dollars in bribes to the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner (Mike Causey), they referred to their elaborately corrupt scheme as a ‘win-win’ – unaware that the FBI was watching and listening,” stated Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today, both men have been held accountable for their crimes, and their sentences underscore the Department of Justice’s unyielding commitment to rooting out corruption wherever we find it.”
“Lindberg and his accomplices, driven by greed, devised an extensive political bribery scheme to illegally funnel millions of dollars to an elected official for the benefit of Lindberg’s business interests. To this day, Lindberg and Gray remain unremorseful and refuse to accept responsibility for their criminal actions. The severity of their brazen conduct is reflected in the Court’s sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray for the Western District of North Carolina. “Bribery of a public official is far from a victimless crime. It is our duty to the American people to stop bad actors with deep pockets and unscrupulous intentions from wrecking the foundation on which this Country proudly stands. To those that greedily seek to line their own pockets through deceit and fraud, I offer the following advice: Keep a travel toothbrush handy.”
Global Growth has over 100 business units worldwide, including Beckett, which is part of its Collectibles & Gaming Technology, Products and Services Group.
In a press release issued earlier this summer, Lindberg called the charges “politically motivated lies.” He called the case “entrapment,” according to WRAL-TV. The Charlotte Observer reported it is likely he’ll appeal.
Prosecutors claimed that from April 2017 to August 2018, Lindberg and Gray engaged in a bribery scheme involving independent expenditure accounts and improper campaign contributions aimed at getting the Commissioner to take official action favorable to Lindberg’s company, GBIG. They say 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 regulation and the periodic examination of GBIG.”