RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal appeals court has thrown out the 2020 conspiracy and bribery convictions of a former major political donor in North Carolina and his associate.

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A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the convictions and ordered new trials for Greg E. Lindberg and John D. Gray.

The appeals court declared that the trial judge erred in his jury instructions to the point that it called the verdicts into question.

Lindberg is a wealthy insurance and investment firm founder accused by federal investigators of attempting to bribe North Carolina’s insurance commissioner to secure preferential regulatory treatment for his business.