New trial for N. Carolina insurance magnate set for March

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A new trial for a North Carolina-based insurance magnate whose previous convictions on corruption-related charges were overturned is set for early March, a federal judge decided on Monday.

Attorneys for Greg E. Lindberg and the U.S. government met with U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn, who set a schedule for proceedings leading to a tentative trial date, according to a description of the hearing posted on the federal courts’ web site.

Cogburn released Lindberg from a minimum-security prison in Alabama last month, weeks after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Lindberg’s convictions from March 2020 and ordered a new trial.

Lindberg had been sentenced to more than seven years after being convicted of attempting to bribe North Carolina’s insurance commissioner to secure preferential regulatory treatment for his insurance business. The 4th Circuit panel declared Cogburn had erred by giving jurors in Lindberg’s trial misleading instructions before they began deliberations.

Lindberg, who had become a large political donor in North Carolina politics before his 2019 indictment, “looks forward to the opportunity to clear his name in the court of law as well as the court of public opinion,” Lindberg spokesperson Susan Estrich said in an emailed statement. “The fact remains that the case against Mr. Lindberg is purely political.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, which helped prosecute Lindberg, declined comment late Monday.

The scheduling order and tentative March 6 trial date also applies to John D. Gray, a Lindberg consultant convicted of the same two counts as Lindberg. Gray also had his convictions vacated for the same reasons.

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