MAGA Attorney General Candidate Has Soft Spot for Shady Corporations

Representative Dan Bishop, a far-right Republican from North Carolina who is currently campaigning to be the state’s attorney general, is portraying himself as a champion for the little guy. Just this week, he promised a “reckoning” against the “gangster government.”

But Bishop’s track record shows a tendency to side instead with the rich and powerful—no matter how bizarre the case. His “gangster government” comment wasn’t about a federal government infringing on constituents’ rights, but about Donald Trump being found guilty of felony business fraud by a jury of his peers.

Bishop also doubled down on his position that the trial was “rigged” with a wildly offensive comment.

“They go into a place where they know the fight is unfair. It’s as bad as it was in Alabama in 1950 if a person happened to be Black in order to get justice, and that’s what they did in New York. So, it was fundamentally rigged,” he said on an episode of The Pete Kaliner Show.

Bishop, who has only been a congressman since 2023, is seeking to replace his home state’s Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein. (Stein is running for governor against Hitler-quoting Republican Mark Robinson.) Bishop must defeat his congressional colleague, Democratic Representative Jeff Jackson, a former prosecutor.  

While Bishop’s own website touts his experience as a “tenacious litigator, handling complex commercial cases,” he has never served as a public prosecutor. And during his legal career, Bishop rarely, if ever, defended the very people he would be meant to protect as attorney general.

Online records—only made available in recent months as North Carolina switches to an online court filing system—show that while working as an attorney, the Republican lawmaker repeatedly defended the rights of shady corporations that had taken advantage of consumers in his home state. 

One of the most egregious cases began in 2002, when Bishop defended Fischer-Schindler, LLC, which was accused of stealing at least $1 million from plaintiff Larry Black through an invented investment scheme. In court documents, Black’s attorney described the alleged blatant theft: “To say Defendants engaged in an elaborate ‘Ponzi’ scheme is probably an insult to the late Mr. Ponzi.” 

Six years later, District Judge Richard Vorhees sided with Black and ordered the defendants to pay him $1 million, plus interest. It’s likely Black received even more in treble damages, a statute for certain cases that requires the court to triple the amount of damages owed to a plaintiff. 

Also in 2002, Bishop also defended a company that was accused of racial discrimination toward one of its employees, allegedly denying her promotions due to her race. The parties eventually reached a private settlement, ending the case. 

In 2009, Bishop represented Charlotte Hanson, who, with her husband Sidney, was accused of operating a Ponzi scheme that targeted retirement-age people, raising around $32.5 million from approximately 500 clients. While the Hansons had promised high returns on supposed investments, court documents alleged that they instead used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle for themselves of resort vacations and private plane rentals, as well as making payments to agents who supplied their scheme with new customers interested in purchasing so-called “private loan agreements.” 

Two years later, a district court judge ordered the couple to pay $23 million in restitution, plus interest, to their victims, as well as a a $1.2 million fine to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Sidney was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison.

In 2011, Bishop helped defend Fuzion Investment Capital (FIC), which was accused of wrongfully terminating an employee, Jeffrey Stec, who was “rendered destitute” by the firing, according to the lawsuit. Stec alleged that after he sold his fitness center company to FIC as part of a bankruptcy deal, with FIC promising that he would be able to buy the company back, FIC underpaid him to the tune of $80,000 in owed wages and fired him and terminated his management rights without proper cause—canceling his family’s health insurance in the process. The case has not yet been resolved.

That year, Bishop also represented a group of businessmen who were accused of engaging in an “active conspiracy” to defraud a 78-year-old woman who was recovering from heart surgery, according to the lawsuit. 

The New Republic contacted Bishop’s office for comment on his legal history, but he did not respond by time of publication.

Although Bishop promises on his campaign website to “defend the rule of law” and “protect North Carolina,” his professional history indicates that, if elected, he would do anything but.

Over the past two years, an increasing number of state attorneys generals have wielded outsized influence and power, protecting the privileged while pushing through cruel regulations that target some of the most vulnerable communities. They also have a tremendous influence over how laws are implemented and prosecuted. 

It’s possible that Bishop’s career is merely the result of meeting the obligation of a good lawyer and representing all manner of clients. But it could also be a clear indicator of the people he actually intends to protect if elected attorney general. And if that’s the case, then North Carolinians will pay the highest cost.