A federal grand jury has indicted multiple people in connection with an ongoing investigation involving donations made to the North Carolina Republican Party.
NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes, who spent a decade in Congress representing a district that stretched from the Charlotte area to Fayetteville, surrendered himself to authorities and made a first appearance at the US Courthouse in Charlotte on Monday.
The charges center around a wealthy Durham businessman named Greg Lindberg, who has been under the microscope of federal investigators for white collar crimes related to his business empire and, later, for contributions he made to politicians in North Carolina.
Lindberg was also indicted and made a first appearance in court. Two other people who worked for Lindberg, John Gray and John Palermo, also appeared in court in connection two the indictments.
Lindberg made sizeable contributions to both political parties, campaign finance records show, including a six-figure contribution to the North Carolina Democratic Party and nearly $2 million to the North Carolina Republican Party.
A portion of Lindberg’s contribution to the NCGOP—$240,000 –was then forwarded to North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, who is also a Republican.
In October, NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse confirmed to WBTV that the party sent Causey the money but said it was legal because, he said, the party steered the money to Causey after Lindberg made the contribution.
In March, WBTV reported that Causey made a secret recording of a meeting between Lindberg, an associate, Causey and Hayes.
During the meeting, multiple sources familiar with the recording told WBTV, Lindberg and Hayes reached an agreement for the NCGOP to pass $240,000 of Lindberg’s contribution to Causey’s campaign.
An attorney for Lindberg has not responded to messages from WBTV seeking comment.
Lindberg was the NCGOP's personal slush fund manager, in other words. And it looks like he's taking Hayes with him. Hayes's charges include wire fraud, false statements, and bribery as he was taking cash in order to then direct money with federally funded programs to benefit donors like Lindberg, and then aiding and abetting a criminal conspiracy to tie all that together in defrauding the NC Insurance Commission.
Stay tuned. A lot of people are going down over this back home.