North Carolina businessman Greg Lindberg is fighting for his freedom after a controversial prosecution by the federal government. Insurance entrepreneur Greg Lindberg is currently appealing his conviction for allegedly bribing North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey.

From the outset, Lindberg has argued that the whole case was retribution because Lindberg supported Causey’s opponent in the election and that his donations funded some nasty attack ads that made Causey look bad at that time. He has said the allegations in the case are false and that Causey and the FBI agent who testified lied under oath.

Because of legal issues, Lindberg has never before been interviewed about the case. But now, we bring you this exclusive interview with Greg Lindberg, who joins us from his home in California.

QUESTION: Thanks for joining us, Mr. Lindberg. I understand that entrapment was part of your defense, that Mr. Causey repeatedly asked you to donate to his campaign – and that you did so after consulting with experts who said it was OK for you to donate to his campaign, something that happens during every campaign in this country.

GREG: My donation was only in response to North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey’s aggressive and repeated demands for campaign support. Mr. Causey repeatedly demanded large donations stating “hell, I’m the insurance commissioner,” and asking, “what’s in it for me?”

QUESTION: So if I understand correctly, you had gone to Mike Causey because you were having trouble conducting business with the Department of Insurance employee assigned to regulate your companies. . And all you wanted was a different person from the Insurance Commissioner’s office to oversee your company. You never asked for a specific result of any regulatory matters? Is that right?

GREG:  I never asked for rate increases or favorable treatment of any kind. Instead the evidence shows I asked for stringent and rigorous regulation. Even the prosecution admitted in court that the file transfer that I was asking for was “good for the state of North Carolina.” My ask for a file transfer to a more competent regulator was entirely in good faith and was the best thing for policyholders. I have always done what is best for policyholders. Causey, by inserting politics into regulation, has hurt policyholders.

QUESTION: So your position is Mike Causey demanded political donations from you over and over and over, and you eventually agreed to donate to his campaign? Where is the crime? I don’t see it.

GREG: I never asked for any favors. You may have heard the tapes. I asked for stringent regulation and tough regulatory scrutiny. How could that be a crime? How does democracy work if you can’t ask your elected officials for “stringent regulation from an unbiased regulator” as I did?

QUESTION: How did the FBI get involved?

GREG: Note that this bribery investigation started before any alleged bribe occurred. The FBI spent eight months, hundreds of hours, and made over 107 attempts to try to entrap me here. In most jurisdictions worldwide, this type of aggressive entrapment by law enforcement is not permitted. Why is such aggressive entrapment of law-abiding citizens even allowed in the U.S.?

QUESTION: What was your experience with campaign law at the time this was happening?

GREG: Until this case came along, I was a political neophyte. I was the least experienced person in the room. How was I supposed to know that they were guiding me potentially in the wrong direction? Aren’t we supposed to trust public officials like Mike Causey, a sworn law enforcement officer, to not deceive us about the law?

QUESTION: Can you explain the role the Insurance Commissioner plays with regard to insurance companies like those that you operate?

GREG: Mr. Causey had enormous power over my companies and still does today. What was I supposed to do when he aggressively and repeatedly demanded donations? We didn’t have a choice but to concede to his demands.

QUESTION: Do you think your appeal attorneys have any smoking guns, so to speak, that will help you get this case thrown out?

GREG: Causey initiated the entire case against me by lying to the FBI — and subsequently to the court, saying in late 2017 that he had received and returned a $110-thousand dollar donation from me. The truth? No such donation was received or occurred, as Causey’s campaign coordinator, Joyce Kohn, testified in court. Causey lied under oath in Court, denying the fact that he was the one who demanded the secret meetings with me. The FBI agents who watched his testimony knew he was not telling the truth. But not a peep out of them about Causey perjuring himself.

QUESTION: Wow, so there was no $110-thousand dollar donation? He just made that up? Anything else?

GREG: Causey also lied in Court about the fact that he was the one who demanded a personal check from me – which I refused to give him. Again, if I was trying to bribe the guy, why would I refuse to give him a personal check? Causey lied to the court claiming that he was “not aware” of me during the 2016 election – despite the fact that my donations to Causey’s opponent were mentioned in the very same articles where Causey himself was quoted.

QUESTION: So you’re saying that Causey was simply out to get you for political reasons. Is this something the FBI looked into? Seems like that would be a key piece of evidence?

GREG: The lead FBI agent admitted in court that he never investigated the motives of Causey, including why Causey was pushing so hard for the FBI to investigate me. The agent said he never bothered to check public records showing that I was the largest supporter of Causey’s opponent in the bitterly contested 2016 election.

QUESTION: Greg, I understand there is a good chance your appeal will be successful. Tell me about that.

GREG: I am confident the Fourth Circuit will either reverse the verdict or remand the case for a new trial. The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that a judge cannot instruct a jury on a finding of fact, as the district court did in my case. In essence, the district court directed the guilty verdict. In doing so, the district court took the most important part of the case away from the jury and infringed on my and every American’s Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. Even the prosecution agreed with me on this point in one of their filings during the trial.

QUESTION: From what you say, this sounds like a classic case of entrapment, and some judicial errors. Not to mention evidence that Causey was motivated to get you. All I can say is good luck and I hope justice is served.

GREG:  Had any one of these people with decades of political experience given me just a simple warning – or if Mike Causey had simply been honest – none of this mess would have occurred. I would have stopped everything immediately with just the slightest warning. I am a careful and conscientious person. We have compliance plans for just about everything in our organization. I thought I had hired the right advisors who knew the law.

QUESTION: Greg, thank you so much for your time. Again, best of luck.

GREG: My pleasure and thank you for your interest in my story.

QUESTION: Well, that wraps up our exclusive interview with Greg Lindberg. We will be staying on top of this case as it goes through the appeals process.