The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted Greg Lindberg and three others with “conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud”.
Lindberg has been charged with fraud and bribery as he, together with a Republican party chairman and two others, allegedly tried to offer hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to get the US commissioner for insurance to favour his businesses.
He is the founder of Eli Global, a financial services company that invests in life insurance businesses, among others.
The firm has put money into 115 companies in 16 different countries, including 10 companies in Malta, according to local newspaper the Times of Malta.
The charges follow a subpoena issued in October 2018 after a criminal investigation was launched into Lindberg, Eli Global, as well as other associated insurance and financial services firms.
Bribes, bribes, and more bribes
According to the US DOJ, at least $500,000 (£382,877; €445,375) was promised to the commissioner, of which $250,000 was redirected from a donation Lindberg had made to the chair of the Republican party in North Carolina.
The money was meant to be “campaign contributions” for the commissioner to be re-elected in exchange for behaving favourably towards Lindberg.
Additionally, the commissioner called several insurance firms to put in a good word for Lindberg, who was looking to acquire them.
Subsequently, the insurance mogul paid $150,000 to an unnamed elected public official who facilitated the commissioner’s calls.
On top of that, one of the four involved was a top Eli Global employee who was supposed to leave the firm and be hired by the commissioner, for which Lindberg promised a $1-2m fund and support for the commissioner’s re-election.
The whole plot was schemed so that the commissioner’s office would turn a blind eye to Lindberg’s companies, including Global Bankers Insurance Group.
All four are now facing charges of “bribery concerning programmes receiving federal funds and aiding and abetting”, as well as for providing false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigators.