FILE - In this June 3, 2017 file photo North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes speaks during the North Carolina Republican Party State Convention at the Wilmington Convention Center in Wilmington, N.C. Hayes won't seek re-election to the post after all, the former congressman announced Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike Spencer, File)

N. Carolina GOP chairman, major donor face bribery charges

April 03, 2019 - 1:55 am

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina GOP Chairman Robin Hayes and investment firm founder Greg Lindberg are among four people facing federal bribery and wire fraud charges.

In federal indictments, prosecutors say that in a series of clandestine meetings in closed restaurants and small airport terminals, the pressured insurance magnate and his associates offered North Carolina's insurance commissioner money for special treatment.

Hayes also was charged with lying to the FBI. The 73-year-old former congressman announced Monday that he wouldn't seek re-election as party chairman, citing health problems.

Lindberg — largely unknown politically until his contributions started flowing heavily in 2017 — has given more than $5 million to North Carolina candidates, party committees and independent expenditure groups.

The four defendants appeared Tuesday before a federal magistrate.

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