A federal appeals court has thrown out the 2020 bribery and fraud conspiracy convictions of insurance magnate Greg Lindberg and also consultant John Gray, who were caught on tape offering North Carolina’s insurance commissioner up to $2 million to replace the deputy in charge of monitoring Lindberg’s companies.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday said the trial judge improperly lowered the prosecution’s burden of proof by telling the jury that the staffing change was an “official act” – one of the elements of the fraud conspiracy charge.
Both the prosecution and defense attorneys had objected to the jury instruction, and with good reason, Chief Circuit Judge Roger Gregory wrote: the U.S. Supreme Court “clearly” considers the question of what constitutes an official act to be one for the jury.
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