Billionaire’s troubled insurance companies liquidated by North Carolina judge | North Carolina

(Central Square) – North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is celebrating this week’s Wake County Superior Court decision to liquidate two financially troubled insurance companies once run by billionaire Greg Lindbergh.

Monday’s court order by Judge Graham Shirley granted a Nov. 1 request by Causey to place Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Co. and Bankers Life Insurance Co. in liquidation, which means that the liabilities will be assumed by state guarantee associations.

“This is an important first step that will allow more policyholders to get more of their money back sooner,” Causey said in a prepared statement.

“The Department of Insurance is prepared to work with state guaranty associations to get payments up to policyholders’ guaranty limits as quickly as possible,” the statement said. “Meanwhile, last week I ordered two additional motions to be filed in court to allow more money to be released from insurance companies directly to policyholders as state guaranty associations prepare to make their payments.”

Lindbergh, once North Carolina’s biggest political donor, was released this summer from a minimum-security prison in Alabama, where he had served seven years for allegedly trying to bribe Causey. An appeals court in June overturned his 2020 bribery and fraud convictions because of errors made by the trial judge in giving jury instructions.

Causey worked with the FBI to record and later testify that a Lindbergh associate had promised a large donation to Causey’s campaign in exchange for a request to replace a state insurance official involved in regulating Lindbergh’s business.

Lindbergh won a new trial scheduled for March when the appeals court agreed that the trial judge’s jury instructions on whether the request constituted an “official act” went too far. Lindbergh remains free of electronic monitoring pending trial.

Regulators alleged that Lindbergh transferred millions from some of his insurance companies to other companies, leaving the insurers unable to pay policyholders. Court documents show Lindbergh controlled four insurers with a total of about 262,000 policyholders: Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Co., Bankers Life Insurance Co., Southland National Insurance Corp. and Southland National Reinsurance Corp.

Global Growth, the parent company formerly run by Lindbergh, released a statement on Monday’s ruling, saying the planned sale of the companies would be a better option to get cash to policyholders more quickly.

“We strongly disagree with the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s decision to liquidate these companies – and we are surprised and disappointed that it has come to this,” said CEO Justin Holbrook. “I shouldn’t have.”

Global Growth has sought a continuance to “understand NCDOI’s sudden decision that CBL and BLI should be liquidated now,” he said.

“To our knowledge, nothing material has changed with respect to the insurance companies’ liquidity or their ability to meet their current obligations to policyholders pursuant to the court’s prior orders,” Holbrook said. “The NCDOI did not reach out to us before they filed their liquidation request, nor did they explain their reasoning.”

North Carolina Insurance Guaranty limits coverage to $300,000, according to its website.

“We will continue to work as hard as we can to get the money out to innocent policyholders, and we will continue to fight to get every policyholder paid in full,” Causey said. “Insureds with questions should feel free to contact customer service for CBL and BLIC; contact information is available on their websites.’

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