People have taken to the streets to air their frustration with a criminal “justice” system that is stacked against them, says Greg Lindberg, founder of Global Growth, a group of over 100 companies worldwide focused on healthcare and technology.
People are fed up with an excessively harsh criminal justice policies that result in mass incarceration, over-criminalization, racial injustice, and stand in the way of a fair and equal society, says Lindberg.
According to Lindberg, there is injustice is at all levels of the criminal justice system today: abusive prosecutors, and law enforcement officers, including local, state and federal government agents who prey on law-abiding citizens, sometimes for their own personal gain.
“Tomorrow it could be you who they target,” says Lindberg.
Lindberg is the owner of a group of insurance companies based in North Carolina, and supported the sitting North Carolina Insurance Commissioner in his race against Mike Causey, who after losing six contests, won the 2016 election by a whisker, Lindberg says. To Causey, “my supporting his opponent was a crime. Shortly after winning the election, he said it is clear you are ‘not on my team,’” says Lindberg.
“The next thing I knew, Causey was orchestrating a campaign against me that included such actions as empowering the North Carolina Department of Insurance to knowingly circulate materially false statements about my insurance companies and me to other state insurance regulators, credit markets, media outlets, and others, including federal law enforcement authorities. He then cited the instability caused by these materially false accusations as justification for taking even more radical steps,” Lindberg says.
Lindberg says that when he met with Causey and asked him to address these false statements, he replied, unprompted, “What’s in it for me?”
Lindberg says that “I learned many months later that Causey initiated an investigation by the FBI by lying to them (and subsequently to the court,) saying in late 2017 he had received and returned a $110,000 donation from me. The truth? I never gave him any such donation. When I learned about this, I thought, ‘This is America. They will see there was no illegal donation and that will be that.’ If it were only so.”
Lindberg says that was once the FBI decides you are a target, “nothing will stand in their way of trying to convict you, including conveniently ‘overlooking’ such things as perjury by their so-called informant and such countervailing evidence as the politically motivated origin of the investigation.” Lindberg says that in his case, the lead FBI agent admitted in court he never investigated the motives of Causey, including why Causey was pushing so hard for the FBI to open an investigation. “The FBI agent said on the stand that he never bothered to check public records showing I was the largest supporter of Causey’s opponent in the bitterly contested 2016 election for North Carolina Insurance Commissioner. Likewise, the FBI apparently never investigated allegations that were already public at the time that Causey had abused his power in taking over an insurer (not owned by me) at the request of his political supporters,” says Lindberg.
“I was shocked to learn that the FBI relentlessly tried to get me to break the law, orchestrating over 100 recorded calls and meetings — repeatedly pressuring me to bribe Mike Causey,” says Lindberg. “I have never broken a law in my life and have no criminal record other than an occasional traffic violation,” he says.
Lindberg says that when the FBI and Commissioner Causey’s first few dozen attempts failed to ensnare him, the FBI stepped up their approach and coached Commissioner Causey to “put on the pressure.” Lindberg says that “As Causey oversaw all my insurance companies, putting pressure on me was not a tall order for the Commissioner.”
According to Lindberg, “Commissioner Causey then isolated me from my advisors and my lawyer and pressured me for money every time I asked him to simply do his job. When I repeatedly said ‘no’ to his monetary requests, Commissioner Causey drug me into the arena of campaign finance (an area I know little to nothing about) so he could trick me into a technical quid pro quo. And trick me he did,” says Lindberg. Lindberg says the only thing he ever asked for was fair treatment from a fair regulator. In fact, he says he is on tapes asking for tough regulatory scrutiny from an unbiased regulator.
“What kind of ‘bribe’ is that? I never once asked for a contract, a pass on regulation, or something nefarious. I even told the Commissioner to hold me to stricter regulations than anyone else in the industry,” Lindberg says.
“Again, what kind of ‘bribe’ is that? Isn’t that the opposite of a bribe?” Lindberg asks. “It would seem this makes me either a masochist, a lunatic, or, perhaps, an honest businessman desperate for fair treatment. Causey took advantage of that desperation all while putting the screws to me and my companies daily. I literally asked for a fair person to regulate me and made a campaign contribution in an effort to obtain basic fairness. Don’t people do that every day? That was my ‘crime.’”
Lindberg says on the record that “I take full responsibility for asking for fairness and have never denied that once.”
“The shock of my life is when that campaign contribution for fairness (given only after repeated demands of a sworn law enforcement office who assured me such donations were legal) caused me to be charged with federal felony charges amounting up to 30 years in prison” Lindberg says. “I thought it was a mistake. I thought it could not be true. It was. Government overreach had now directly touched my own life,” Lindberg says.
Lindberg says that the FBI even “coached Causey to try to convince me that what he was proposing I do was legal, even when the FBI knew it might not be. In one instance, Causey — while wearing a wire – clearly agreed that there is nothing wrong with the donations he repeatedly and aggressively demanded from us. Causey remember, was and is a sworn law enforcement officer, the person responsible for enforcing insurance laws in North Carolina. I was surprised to learn that law enforcement officers are not required to be honest, even when advising citizens on the legality of what they are doing.”
Evidence introduced at trial also showed that the lead FBI agent didn’t understand the law he was investigating, Lindberg says. It showed he was confused about campaign finance law, Lindberg says. “If the FBI was confused, how was I supposed to know the law – especially after Causey demanded I not include my lawyer in our conversations and agreed that ‘there was nothing wrong with’ the donations he was aggressively and repeatedly demanding?” Lindberg asks.
In another instance, it appeared the FBI was making its own laws, Lindberg says. “FBI agents told the jury they believe any legal campaign donation is grounds to open a criminal investigation. Under this theory, every campaign donor who has ever communicated in any way, directly or indirectly with the candidate they donated to is exposed to the risk of criminal investigation,” Lindberg says.
“That is not what the law says,” Lindberg notes. “The law says there must be a bribe for an ‘official’ act – not any act. I never once asked for a result or a favorable ruling. I never asked for a government contract or money. I simply asked for fair and rigorous regulation. I am on FBI tapes asking repeatedly for this,” Lindberg says. Lindberg says his exact words were: “We’re not asking for easy regulation. We’re asking for tough regulatory scrutiny on an unbiased basis.” Lindberg asks: “What kind of “criminal” asks for tough regulatory scrutiny when he doesn’t know he is being recorded?” Lindberg says that “At one point I even told Causey to subject my companies to more stringent standards than the law required.”
Lindberg says he takes full responsibility for the fact that “When I was not being treated fairly, I did ask that one regulator who had personal issues with me be recused and another equally capable regulator take over. I am responsible for 8,000 employees. I felt that was only fair. Even the prosecution admitted in trial that by requesting this move, I was ‘asking for something beneficial…or good…for North Carolina,’” Lindberg says.
“When Causey agreed the regulator could be recused and said there is nothing wrong with the large donation he was demanding, in July 2018 I acceded to his relentless demands to donate to his campaign,” Lindberg says. “To be clear, I repeatedly demanded on the record that any donation must be ‘within the bounds of North Carolina election law,’” Lindberg notes.
Lindberg says an even more complexing fact came out Lindberg’s recent trial: “Causey had recused the regulator in February (unbeknownst to me) before my July request. Thus, making a “bribe” impossible. What I was requesting had already happened. Causey just lied (again) and kept it from me solely to further his entrapment scheme,” Lindberg says.
When dealing with law enforcement and in testifying in court, you are supposed to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, Lindberg says. “That is what I did. But as you can see it didn’t go both ways. I’ve only shared a few examples. Here is a sampling of others,” Lindberg says:
According to Lindberg, “Causey lied to the FBI and the government, telling them one of my largest assets was ‘worthless’ – despite numerous audits, valuations, and an audited personal financial statement, all of which was provided to support the asset’s $900 million+ value.” Lindberg says the FBI “took Causey’s lies at face value without substantiating the information they were provided by him, issuing dozens of subpoenas to my companies, business partners, etc., and even harassing my pregnant surrogate.” Lindberg says that “Causey’s lies about my assets are like yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater – and have cost my companies hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.”
Lindberg also says that “Causey lied under oath, denying the fact that he was the one who demanded the secret meetings. The FBI knew he was not telling the truth. But not a peep out of them about Causey perjuring himself. The prosecution knew better, too. Not a word from them either to the judge or jury.”
Causey said “I do not recall” over 100 times when being cross-examined by the defense team, Lindberg says. “He never once said, ‘I do not recall’ when answering the government’s questions that were favorable to the case he initiated for his own political gain,” says Lindberg.
According to Lindberg, “Causey also lied to the Court about the fact that he was the one who demanded a personal check from me – which I refused to give him. Again, if I was trying to bribe the guy, why would I refuse to give him a personal check?”
Lindberg says that Causey lied to the Court “claiming that he was ‘not aware’ of me during the 2016 election – despite the fact that my large donations to Causey’s opponent were mentioned in the very same articles where Causey himself was quoted.”
Causey also lied to the Court when “he denied he was obsessed with researching me at all hours of the day and night – despite evidence that he had over 1,100 communications with the FBI as part of his efforts to induce the FBI to investigate me,” says Lindberg.
Causey also lied to the court about his motives, says Lindberg, “even when confronted with a text that he sent to the FBI gleefully reporting that ‘things are closing in on Greg Lindberg.’”
Causey also “lied to the Court and the FBI about being concerned about donations from owners of companies he regulates,” Lindberg says. “At the same time he was supposedly concerned about alleged donations from me, Causey received large donations from the owners of other insurers like Investors Title, as well as large donations from the political action committees for numerous other North Carolina insurers. Causey also testified in a deposition in October of 2017 that he did not find it inappropriate to receive large donations from companies in regulates – the opposite of what he said under oath in the trial.”
According to Lindberg, the “best evidence of Causey’s mindset in targeting me comes from his own adopted words: on the last day of the FBI investigation, Causey sent a celebratory text/article to the FBI titled ‘How to make [people] your bitches.’”
Lindberg says that in March of this year, a jury found him guilty of public corruption charges based on Causey’s allegations. “Their verdict was based, largely I believe, on the word of this same public official who sat on the stand and perjured himself repeatedly to eliminate someone he considered a political adversary,” says Lindberg. “The government went along with it,” says Lindberg.
Lindberg says that he respects the jury’s verdict. “Should the judge accept the jury’s findings, we intend to appeal the decision and are optimistic it will be overturned on appeal. Stay tuned,” Lindberg says.
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