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Sentencing for insurance magnate, ex-N.C. Congress member scheduled

A big political donor, his consultant and a former North Carolina congressman are receiving punishments for their roles in trying to bribe the state’s top insurance regulator.

U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn scheduled sentencing on Wednesday for insurance magnate Greg Lindberg, John Gray and former Rep. Robin Hayes.

Federal prosecutors want Lindberg to get 14 years in prison and Gray 10 years. Jurors convicted them in March of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bribery. Their lawyers are seeking a small fraction of that time. Gray, who had worked as a consultant for Lindberg, wants to serve any time at home because of health problems.

Hayes pleaded guilty last fall to lying to FBI agents. U.S. attorneys recommend Hayes receive probation. He was state Republican Party chairman at the time of the scheme.

Trial evidence showed Lindberg sought to funnel campaign money to benefit Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey in exchange for special regulatory treatment.

A wealthy insurance and investment firm founder, Lindberg had been among the state’s top political donors. He had given more than $5 million to state and federal candidates and committees since 2016, favoring Republicans but also giving to Democrats.

Causey, who wasn’t accused of wrongdoing, alerted authorities and recorded conversations.

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