Insurance Executive Ordered to Prison on Seven-Year Sentence


Convicted insurance executive Greg Lindberg has been ordered to report to federal prison on Oct. 20 to begin serving a sentence of more than seven years for attempted bribery of North Carolina’s elected insurance commissioner, according to a court filing.

Mr. Lindberg disclosed the date in a filing Wednesday that asked a federal judge to delay his imprisonment so he can more easily consult with his attorneys on an appeal of his conviction, and because of concerns about contracting Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in prison.

Federal prosecutors previously have raised concerns that Mr. Lindberg could flee the country before his imprisonment.

“He has no ties to anyplace,” a federal prosecutor said at Mr. Lindberg’s August sentencing hearing, arguing that the defendant has access to bank accounts in 18 foreign countries and no permanent address. He also has a private jet and yacht that could allow him to flee to any of those locations, the prosecutor argued.

An attorney for Mr. Lindberg at that hearing replied that the defendant’s overseas accounts were connected to his business ventures, he had complied with all bail conditions and was wearing an ankle bracelet. There was no evidence he would flee, his attorney said.

U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. said at the August hearing that he would allow Mr. Lindberg to remain out on bail and could delay incarceration depending on the Covid-19 situation.

Mr. Lindberg is a self-proclaimed billionaire who bought a string of small insurers starting in 2014 and loaned $2 billion of their assets to his own enterprises. He was convicted in March on two criminal counts related to a scheme to bribe the insurance commissioner to obtain more favorable regulatory treatment for his insurers.

In the new filing, Mr. Lindberg’s attorney said the Federal Bureau of Prisons had ordered him to report to FPC Montgomery, a minimum-security facility in Montgomery, Ala. The filing said Mr. Lindberg, 50 years old, suffers from severe sleep apnea and is at elevated risk from the coronavirus.

That facility reported no active infections among its 358 inmates and one earlier positive test for an inmate, according to the Bureau of Prisons website.

A three-judge federal appeals court panel last month unanimously rejected an earlier motion by Mr. Lindberg to remain on bail pending his appeal.

Mr. Lindberg this month sued Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, alleging defamation and other claims stemming from two Journal articles in 2019.

The articles focused on Mr. Lindberg’s insurance empire and his use of surveillance operatives to spy on women. A Lindberg spokesman has explained the surveillance as “background checks” on women Mr. Lindberg might consider for a long-term relationship.

In a statement, a Dow Jones spokeswoman said, “We are confident in the Journal’s reporting and will mount a vigorous defense against Greg Lindberg’s claims.”

Write to Mark Maremont at [email protected]

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