Monday 14 October 2019

Clanwilliam backer accused of bribe attempt

Greg Lindberg, founder and chairman of US investment firm Eli Global
Greg Lindberg, founder and chairman of US investment firm Eli Global
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

A key backer of Irish private equity firm Clanwilliam Group has been indicted in the US for allegedly trying to bribe a state official in North Carolina.

Greg Lindberg, founder and chairman of US investment firm Eli Global, is accused of trying to bribe North Carolina's elected insurance commissioner to take action favourable to an insurance business owned by Eli Global.

The indictment says that Mr Lindberg and his co-defendants "corruptly gave, offered, and promised things of value to the Commissioner, including millions of dollars in campaign contributions".

This was allegedly to be done in return for the removal of an official responsible for overseeing the regulation of the insurance company.

Mr Lindberg and co-defendants John Gray and John Palermo are alleged to have "surreptitiously met with the Commissioner at various locations throughout North Carolina... to discuss Lindberg's request for the removal of [the official] in exchange for millions of dollars in campaign contributions to the Commissioner".

Mr Lindberg is alleged to have told the commissioner that the official was "deliberately and intentionally and maliciously hurting" his reputation with other regulators.

He's alleged to have suggested that the Commissioner hire Mr Palermo in place of, or in a superior role to, the official.

A lawyer for Mr Lindberg has said he is innocent of the accusations in the indictment and that he looks forward to demonstrating this in court.

In the most recent Companies Registration Office Documents, Mr Lindberg is listed as a director of Triton Financial Ltd, itself listed as the sole shareholder in Clanwilliam Headquarters Ltd.

The latter company is listed as the owner of the Clanwilliam Group name.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the part of the Clanwilliam Group or any of its employees.

It did not respond to a request for comment but previously said it would not be affected by the investigation into Mr Lindberg.

"We are not a subsidiary of Eli Global LLC despite the fact that the two companies have a common shareholder/investor," a spokeswoman for the company told the Irish Independent earlier this year.

Clanwilliam was born out of an investment in Helix Health, a medical software business, by Eli Global a number of years ago.

Helix founder Howard Beggs runs the Clanwilliam Group here.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Mr Beggs.

Irish Independent

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