Chair of North Carolina GOP, others indicted on federal bribery and corruption charges

Robin Hayes (Mike Spencer/AP via CNN)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Federal prosecutors have unsealed an indictment charging North Carolina State Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes and three associates in an alleged bribery scheme involving campaign contributions to the state insurance commissioner.

Hayes, along with political and business figures Greg Lindberg, John Gray and John Palermo, made initial appearances in US District Court in Charlotte Tuesday.

“The indictment unsealed today outlines a brazen bribery scheme in which Greg Lindberg and his co-conspirators allegedly offered hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in exchange for official action that would benefit Lindberg’s business interests,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski in a news release.

The March 18 indictment charges Hayes, Lindberg, Gray and Palermo with wire fraud as well as bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds and aiding and abetting. Hayes also has been charged with making false statements. CNN has reached out to their attorneys.

The alleged scheme was to pay the commissioner of the North Carolina Department of Insurance at least $1.5 million in exchange for making staff changes, among other things, the court documents say.

The indictment comes in a year that has rocked the state’s Republican Party. Last month, the North Carolina State Board of Elections set a new election in the 9th Congressional District race, having found widespread ballot fraud on behalf of Republican candidate Mark Harris. Earlier this week, Hayes announced this week that he would not seek re-election to run the state party.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.