Prominent Democrat ‘Kingmaker,’ Former Mayor Indicted On Racketeering Charges In New Jersey


George Norcross, a Democrat who for years has been described as a political “kingmaker” in New Jersey, was indicted on racketeering charges in an indictment that was unsealed on Monday.

Norcross’s brother, Phillip Norcross, and four other defendants were also charged in the 13-count, 111 page indictment filed by New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin.

The indictment accuses Norcross of operating a “criminal enterprise” in South Jersey that used political influence to profit from and control the development of the Camden waterfront. Norcross and his associates allegedly used their political positions to benefit their financial interests through extorting and pressuring others to obtain property rights and tax incentive credits linked to the development efforts, CNBC reported

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“The entities that benefitted, including Cooper Health and [the insurance firm Conner Strong & Buckelew CSB] then occupied the properties they obtained interests in and sold the tax credits they obtained for millions of dollars,” the indictment reads.

Norcross, 68, is a prominent insurance executive and former member of the Democratic National Committee. He was also chair of the board of trustes of Cooper University Health Care and chair of Conner Strong & Buckelew.

Now a Florida resident, Norcross made the trip back to the Garden State to attend a press conference given by Platkin on Monday. “The indictment unsealed today alleges that George Norcross has been running a criminal enterprise in this state for at least the last twelve years,” the attorney general said.

“On full display in this indictment is how a group of unelected, private businessmen used their power and influence to get government to aid their criminal enterprise and further its interests,” Platkin said. “The alleged conduct of the Norcross Enterprise has caused great harm to individuals, businesses, non-profits, the people of the State of New Jersey, and especially the City of Camden and its residents.”

“That stops today.”

The indictment accuses Norcross of at one point threatening a developer who had held waterfront property rights that the prominent Democrat and his associates wished to obtain so they could build the tallest building on the waterfront.

“When the developer would not relinquish his rights on terms preferred by George E. Norcross III, he threatened the developer that he would, in substance and in part, “f**k you up like you’ve never been f**ked up before and told the developer he would make sure the developer never did business in Camden again,” the indictment said.

“In a recorded phone call, [Norcross] later admitted to threatening the developer: ‘I said, `this is unacceptable. If you do this, it will have enormous consequences.’ [The developer] said, `Are you threatening me?’ I said, `Absolutely,’” the indictment further alleges.

Another brother of Norcross, Donald Norcross, is currently serving as a United States representative in New Jersey’s First Congressional District. Donald Norcross is not being charged in the case involving his two brothers.

The other defendants in the case are William Tambussi, Dana Redd, Sidney Brown and John O’Donnell. Tambussi is a longtime attorney for Norcross and counsel to the Camden County Democratic Committee, CNBC reported.

Redd is a former mayor of Camden, a former state senator and is the current CEO of Camden Community Partnership.

All six defendants face a potential sentence of 10-20 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge of first-degree racketeering. Additional charges include various counts of financial facilitation, misconduct by a corporate official, and official misconduct and conspiring to commit theft by extortion, criminal coercion, financial facilitation, misconduct by a corporate official, and official misconduct.

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