New Jersey Democratic kingmaker George Norcross indicted on racketeering charges

New Jersey Democratic kingmaker George Norcross indicted on racketeering charges

Influential Democratic power broker George Norcross (center) speaks about racketeering and other charges related to federal tax credits outside the Justice Complex in Trenton, New Jersey, Monday, June 17, 2024, and says he wants to go to trial two weeks and called New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin a “coward.”

George Norcross, who was a Democratic political kingmaker in New Jersey for decades, was charged with racketeering in an indictment unsealed Monday.

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

Platkin accused George Norcross of running a “criminal enterprise” in South Jersey that used political influence to tailor economic redevelopment along the Camden, New Jersey, coast to suit the defendants’ financial interests and to extort and coerce others set, property rights and tax concessions linked to development efforts.

“The companies that have benefited from this, including Cooper Health and [the insurance firm Conner Strong & Buckelew CSB] They then occupied the properties in which they acquired shares and sold the tax credits they received in the millions of dollars,” the indictment says.

George Norcross, a 68-year-old insurance executive and former member of the Democratic National Committee, was chairman of the board of trustees of Cooper University Health Care and chairman of Conner Strong & Buckelew.

George Norcross, who now lives in Florida, attended a news conference Monday that Platkin gave about the allegations in Trenton.

“The indictment unsealed today alleges that George Norcross has operated a criminal enterprise in this state for at least 12 years,” Platkin said.

“This indictment reveals how a group of unelected private businessmen used their power and influence to pressure the government into supporting their criminal enterprise and furthering its interests,” the attorney general said. “Norcross Enterprise’s alleged conduct has caused great harm to individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, the people of the State of New Jersey, and particularly the City of Camden and its residents.”

“This stops today,” Platkin added.

CNBC has reached out to George Norcross’s attorney, Michael Critchley, for comment on the indictment.

Read more about CNBC’s politics coverage

The indictment states that Norcross’s criminal conduct included, among other things, threatening a developer who held waterfront property rights that the Norcross company needed to build the tallest building on the Camden waterfront.

“When the developer would not give up his rights on the terms preferred by George E. Norcross III, he threatened the developer that he would essentially and in part “fuck you like you’ve never been f**ked before.” “I was once there and told the developer that he would make sure the developer never did business in Camden again,” the indictment says.

“In a recorded phone call [Norcross] later admitted threatening the developer: “I said, ‘This is unacceptable.’ If you do this, there will be huge consequences.” [The developer] said, “Are you threatening me?” I said, “Absolutely,” the indictment says.

Another brother, Donald Norcross, is currently a member of the House of Representatives for a district in southern New Jersey. David Norcross will not be charged in the death of his two brothers.

Phillip Norcross is managing partner and CEO of the law firm Parker McCay and is also chairman of the board of the Cooper Foundation.

George Norcross, New Jersey businessman and co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, leaves Judge Patricia McInerney’s courtroom at Philadelphia City Hall.

Matt Rourke | AP

The other defendants in the case are William Tambussi, Dana Redd, Sidney Brown and John O’Donnell.

Tambussi is George Norcross’s longtime personal attorney and an adviser to the Camden County Democratic Committee.

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

Brown is CEO of trucking and logistics company NFI and a member of the board of Cooper Health.

O’Donnell is part of the management team of The Michaels Organization, a residential construction company.

The six defendants face possible prison sentences of between 10 and 20 years if convicted of first-degree racketeering.

Additional charges facing the defendants include various counts of financial aiding, misconduct by a corporate official and official misconduct and conspiracy to commit theft by extortion, criminal coercion, financial aiding, misconduct by a corporate official and official misconduct.

Donald Norcross became a member of the New Jersey State Assembly in January 2010 and held the post for only a week before being named Redd’s successor as state senator following her inauguration as mayor of Camden.

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2024-06-17 18:48:52