DURHAM, N.C., April 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- George A. Vandeman, Chairman of international healthcare technology company Global Growth, sent the following letter to the company's employees and business partners:
"Dear Friends and Colleagues:
As you have likely heard, on March 17, 2020, Global Growth and its sole shareholder Greg Lindberg filed a lawsuit against North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey seeking recovery of over $500 million in damages that the lawsuit alleges Mr. Causey's fraud, deception, and abuse of power has caused Greg Lindberg and the Global Growth group of companies. I am sending this letter in response to numerous questions I have received.
Allegations in the lawsuit, which was filed in Federal Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, outline Mr. Causey's abuse of power and breach of the public trust. It states the claims arise out of Mr. Causey's desire to retaliate against Mr. Lindberg for supporting Mr. Causey's opponent in the 2016 election, former Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, and to ensure that Mr. Lindberg would not support Mr. Causey's political opponents in the future.
According to the lawsuit, Mr. Causey abused the power of the North Carolina Department of Insurance, the United States Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in order to hobble Mr. Lindberg in advance of the 2020 election. In his efforts to undermine Mr. Lindberg, Mr. Causey made materially false representations to the State Ethics Board, the FBI and even under oath in Federal Court.
The lawsuit said: "Causey could not forgive Plaintiffs for supporting former Commissioner Goodwin's re-election campaign. He also could not ignore the threat that Plaintiffs and their financial resources posed to him. Causey knew he needed to sideline Plaintiffs, and Lindberg in particular, in advance of the 2020 elections."
After taking office, the lawsuit said, Mr. Causey "quickly intensified the Department's scrutiny of Plaintiffs." This scrutiny, the lawsuit said, included:
- Encouraging the Department of Insurance to scrutinize every aspect of Plaintiffs' insurance operations;
- Empowering the North Carolina Department of Insurance to knowingly circulate materially false and self-serving statements about Plaintiffs to other state insurance regulators, the credit markets, media outlets, and others, including federal law enforcement authorities;
- Citing the instability generated by the materially false accusations as justification for taking even more radical steps.
When Mr. Lindberg met with Mr. Causey to address these false statements, the lawsuit says, Mr. Causey asked Mr. Lindberg, unprompted, "What's in it for me?"
"This was Causey's 30th undercover recorded conversation and 30th attempt at getting someone at GBIG to offer him money. Never once had anyone offered him money on these recordings. It was Causey who brought it up," the lawsuit states.
The suit states, the extortion by Mr. Causey was clear: He wanted campaign donations or the lies and false statements about Mr. Lindberg would continue.
According to the lawsuit: "It was at these meetings where Causey continued soliciting Lindberg's support. The Department's actions and statements up to this point made it apparent that Plaintiffs would be the subjects of intense regulatory scrutiny now and in the future unless Lindberg played along."
The lawsuit also alleged: "Records show that, at the direction of federal law enforcement authorities, Causey made at least 30 attempts to lure Lindberg and his associates into a campaign contribution before they had ever mentioned the subject of money. Even then, the response to Causey's solicitation of "What's in it for me?" was to set up legal independent expenditure committees."
While attempting to entrap Mr. Lindberg, Mr. Causey fraudulently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Mr. Lindberg regarding Causey's apparently newfound interest in restricting certain investments made by Mr. Lindberg's companies, the suit says.
According to the lawsuit, "Plaintiffs believe that Causey (or others acting for him) contacted the media with the expectation that breaking the story and providing information on background would kill Plaintiffs' chances of complying with the Memorandum. Similar leaks continued throughout the investigation. Causey was correct. The effect of publication on Plaintiffs' business relationships and planned deals was immediate, widespread, and devastating."
Mr. Causey also intentionally interfered with Mr. Lindberg's lending relationships – telling one lender who already lent one of Mr. Lindberg's companies over $400 million to no longer do business with Mr. Lindberg, the suit says.
According to the lawsuit, "The fallout from the events that Causey initiated has been severe. Lindberg is fighting incarceration and must reclaim his good name and professional reputation. Global Growth removed Lindberg as Chairman. Plaintiffs lost over $600 million in assets, lost investment opportunities, and lost out on potential acquisitions. They also incurred tens of millions of dollars in legal fees in the process. All told, Plaintiffs estimate their actual damages to exceed $500 million.
"Policyholders have likewise directly suffered. They continue to suffer, too. This is because Lindberg personally guaranteed all debts of Plaintiffs' insurance companies. With economic losses exceeding $500 million, policyholders lost over $500 million in backstop support. Some policyholders were unable to even redeem their policies because of the ongoing rehabilitation proceedings. The harm to policyholders and the financial and reputational damage to Plaintiffs are only two reasons why this lawsuit is necessary. It is also necessary because Causey's actions have served neither the State of North Carolina nor its citizens. Indeed, Causey's success has only emboldened him to bring other insurers to heel."
"Causey's actions, and the actions of his administration, are indicative of a pattern of abusing the trappings of government to retaliate against and neutralize perceived political foes."
Mr. Lindberg and the Company's attorneys believe that once the facts are presented, a Court will find that Mr. Causey committed unlawful First Amendment retaliation, defamation, tortious interference with existing relationships and prospective economic advantage and violated Mr. Lindberg and Global Growth's rights to due process and equal protection.
I hope this explanation gives you a better understanding and background of the ongoing dispute. It will take some time for this legal matter to be addressed. In the meantime, it is more important than ever for all of us to focus on our work responsibilities and duties to our customers and clients.
With warm regards,
George A. Vandeman
Global Growth Holdings, Inc.
For more Greg Lindberg news please visit: www.greglindberg.com/in-the-news
SOURCE Global Growth