Global Growth founder Greg Lindberg is confident in a successful appeal of conviction

Greg Lindberg - Image via LinkedIn
Greg Lindberg - Image via LinkedIn

Greg E. Lindberg, founder of Global Growth, today released the following open letter that is being sent to the Company’s constituents:


Why I Am Confident In A Successful Appeal In The Case Initiated By Mike Causey’s False Allegations

To our constituents,

I would like to sincerely thank you for the heartfelt support and words of encouragement relating to this past Wednesday’s sentencing in the case pending against me in the Western District of North Carolina. I also sincerely appreciate Judge Cogburn allowing me to remain free on bail until my reporting date, which gives our motion for an appeal bond time to be heard by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

I am confident the Fourth Circuit will either reverse the verdict or remand the case for a new trial. The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that a judge cannot instruct a jury on a finding of fact, as the district court did in my case. In essence, the district court directed the guilty verdict. In doing so, the district court took the most important part of the case away from the jury and infringed on my and every American’s Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. Even the prosecution agreed with me on this point in one of their filings during the trial.

The district court also failed to adhere to limits on federal bribery offenses imposed recently by the Supreme Court in McDonnell v. United States. This ruling requires that an “official act” be akin to a lawsuit, hearing, or formal administrative ruling.

Some of you have been involved in a lawsuit. You know that it’s a big deal. In contrast, the file transfer that we asked for could have been accomplished with a brief conversation in the hallway, as the government’s own witnesses admitted. Even the prosecution admitted that what we were asking for was “good” for the state of North Carolina. How could something that one witness described as a “non-event” and that could be accomplished with a simple conversation in the hallway, be something as serious as a lawsuit? The jury in my case was never allowed to decide.

Furthermore, my donation was only in response to North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey’s aggressive and repeated demands for campaign support. Mr. Causey repeatedly demanded large donations, stating “hell, I’m the insurance commissioner,” and asking, “what’s in it for me?” Remember, Mike Causey is the one who was regulating my insurance companies. This is the same Mike Causey who in response to basic questions on the stand said “I do not recall” over 100 times and perjured himself during trial.

In fact, Causey initiated the entire case against me by lying to the FBI (and subsequently to the court), saying in late 2017 that he had received and returned a $110,000 donation from me. The truth? No such donation was received or occurred, as Joyce Kohn testified in court.

Causey lied under oath in Court, denying the fact that he was the one who demanded the secret meetings with me. The FBI agents who watched his testimony knew he was not telling the truth. But not a peep out of them about Causey perjuring himself.

Causey also lied in 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? Causey lied to the court claiming that he was “not aware” of me during the 2016 election – despite the fact that my 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.

Causey lied to the court about his retaliatory motives 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 in Court and to the FBI about being concerned about donations from owners of companies he regulates. At the same time Causey 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 he regulates – the opposite of what he said under oath in the trial. The bottom line is that Causey wasn’t concerned about donations from me…he was concerned about the threat that I posed to his 2020 re-election campaign. It was bias pure and simple.

Causey also lied on his state ethics forms about his growing amount of debt. Lying on state ethics forms is also a felony, is it not?

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. The FBI, the media and others accepted Causey’s lies at face value. These lies have cost our companies hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

In fact, a recent final draft valuation report prepared by a well-recognized national valuation firm found that my assets were between $860 million and $1.46 billion in excess of liabilities on a fair market value basis as of December 31, 2019. These net worth numbers are net of all liabilities owed by Global Growth companies to affiliated insurers and to third-party lenders. This means that the loans from our affiliated insurers to Global Growth companies are very well secured.

Note that the above asset values are also net of the more than $400 million in damages that false statements have inflicted on the Global Growth businesses. The Global Growth group of companies has filed a lawsuit in Federal court against Mike Causey and the North Carolina Department of Insurance to recover these damages.

I have said from the onset that this case was retribution by Mike Causey for my support of his opponent in the last election, Wayne Goodwin. Just one example: the text from Causey to the FBI on the last day of the FBI investigation that was read in the courtroom entitled: “How to make [people] your bitches.”

The lead FBI agent admitted in court that he never investigated the motives of Causey, including why Causey was pushing so hard for the FBI to investigate me. The agent said he never bothered to check public records showing that I was the largest supporter of Causey’s opponent in the bitterly contested 2016 election.

I Relied On A Team of Advisors Who Said “There Was Nothing Wrong With It”

Robin Hayes – who got probation in this case – said on the tapes that “there was nothing wrong with” the donation. Everyone in the room was looking to him for guidance on what was right and wrong. He is a former Congressman with decades of political experience and was responsible for making the laws in the U.S.

I tried my best at all times to follow the law. I called my lawyer, I hired experienced political consultants, and I asked experienced politicians like Robin Hayes for advice. I had no idea ANYTHING was potentially improper. I even emailed my lawyer when North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey asked for a ride on my airplane – and my lawyer said it was complicated, so we decided not to do it. I even called my lawyer when I met with Mr. Causey and he ordered me to hang up so my lawyer couldn’t see his attempt to entrap me.

No one—not my lawyers, not Robin Hayes, not the consultants I had hired, not the FBI, not Mike Causey—ever gave me a simple one-word warning that there was anything amiss here. In fact, Mike Causey congratulated me on doing “an outstanding job” answering “hardball questions” from regulators. This of course was one of Mike Causey’s many lies designed to deceive me into falling victim to his entrapment scheme. Do we really want insurance regulators like Mike Causey intentionally deceiving regulated parties solely to entrap them and make them their “bitch”?

Had any one of these people with decades of political experience given me just a simple warning – or if Mike Causey had simply been honest – none of this mess would have occurred. I would have stopped everything immediately with just the slightest warning. I am a careful and conscientious person. We have compliance plans for just about everything in our organization. I thought I had hired the right advisors who knew the law.

I Never Asked for ANY Favors – How Could That Be A Crime?

I never asked for any favors. You may have heard the tapes. I asked for stringent regulation and tough regulatory scrutiny. How could that be a crime? How does democracy work if you can’t ask your elected officials for “stringent regulation from an unbiased regulator” as I did?

The FBI spent eight months, hundreds of hours, and made over 107 attempts to try to entrap me here. In most jurisdictions worldwide, this type of aggressive entrapment by law enforcement is not permitted. Why is such aggressive entrapment of law-abiding citizens even allowed in the U.S.?

Note that this bribery investigation started before any alleged bribe occurred. The investigation was started because Mike Causey lied to the FBI as part of his plan to make me his “bitch.”

Until this case came along, I was a political neophyte. I was the least experienced person in the room. Mike Causey, Robin Hayes, John Palermo, and John Gray all had decades of political experience. How was I supposed to know that they were guiding me potentially in the wrong direction? Aren’t we supposed to trust public officials like Mike Causey, a sworn law enforcement officer, to not deceive us about the law?

Mr. Causey had enormous power over my companies and still does so today. What was I supposed to do when he aggressively and repeatedly demanded donations? We didn’t have a choice but to concede to his demands. As we later found out, he forced my insurance companies into rehabilitation anyway based on lies he told the Wall Street Journal.

My Campaign Donations Were Entirely Legal

On the last day of jury deliberations, the jury asked a question to the Judge about predisposition that went unanswered. Had that question been answered, the jury would have been told that evidence beyond a reasonable doubt of predisposition to commit a criminal act must be present before the involvement of government agents who are seeking to entrap someone.

There was no such evidence of predisposition here. My entirely legal campaign donation of $5,000 to Mike Causey in April of 2017 was not evidence of predisposition simply because it was “large” or “early in the cycle.” Note that Mike Causey received two $5,000 donations just 5 days after being sworn into office – and a full 4 months before I gave him a $5,000 donation.

Again, I never asked for rate increases or favorable treatment of any kind. Instead the evidence shows I asked for stringent and rigorous regulation.

Even the prosecution admitted in court that the file transfer that I was asking for was “good for the state of North Carolina.” My ask for a file transfer to a more competent regulator was entirely in good faith and was the best thing for policyholders. I have always done what is best for policyholders. Causey, by inserting politics into regulation, has hurt policyholders.

When the FBI showed up at my office, I met with them without a lawyer for over 3 hours. I had a lawyer right down the hall I could have called in. If I thought I had done anything wrong, do you think I would have spent 3 hours with the FBI without a lawyer?

I understand that many see campaign finance as a broken system. I did not create the system. I did not rule on Citizens United. And I did not offer Causey any donations beyond an entirely legal $5,000 donation made in April 2017 until he aggressively and repeatedly demanded such donations.

I hope you found this information of interest. I am grateful for every one of you and I am grateful for your continued support. I will never forget it.

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