South Jersey power broker George Norcross, former Camden mayor and 4 others charged with fraud

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — Democratic power broker George Norcross and his associates have been indicted in a years-long fraud investigation, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced Monday in Trenton.

On Monday, the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability filed a 13-count, 111-page indictment against Platkin accusing Norcross of leading a criminal enterprise, along with five co-defendants in South Jersey and elsewhere. Platkin said at an afternoon press conference that several others were involved in the crime, but they have not been charged or identified.

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

White-haired New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin, center, sits in the front row as he discusses fraud and other charges against influential Democratic power broker George Norcross, Monday, June 17, 2024, in Trenton.

Mike Catalini / AP

Norcross, 68, is executive chairman of insurance firm Conner, Strong & Bucklew and serves as chairman of Cooper Health’s board of trustees.

The 68-year-old allegedly engaged in a first-degree fraud conspiracy to further Norcross, along with his accomplices, including Philip Norcross, William Tambussy, former Camden Mayor Dana Redd, Sidney Brown and John O’Donnell. Institutional.

All six defendants are charged with financial facilitation, misconduct by a corporate officer and official misconduct and multiple counts of extortion, criminal coercion, financial facilitation, misconduct by a corporate officer and official misconduct.

The Norcross Company secured property and property rights on the Camden waterfront for itself and others, while collecting millions of dollars in government-issued tax credits and controlling and influencing government officials to advance the company’s interests.

“This indictment is on full display of how a group of unelected, private businessmen can use their power and influence to get the government to help their criminal enterprise and advance its interests,” Platkin said Monday. “Norcross Enterprise’s alleged conduct caused great harm to individuals, businesses, nonprofits, the people of the state of New Jersey, and especially the city of Camden and its residents. That continues today.”

The indictment covers evidence from 2012 to 2024 and shows that Norcross Enterprise used its power over government officials to craft and create legislation to further their personal career interests. The indictment also alleges that Redd and other officials used portions of Camden’s city government to help the company obtain property and property rights for himself and others through coercion and extortion.

Redd’s attorney, Henry Klingeman, said the former Camden mayor was surprised by Monday’s legal action:

“She has done nothing wrong. She has served the Camden community in public and non-profit roles for more than three decades. She has fully cooperated with the grand jury investigation for more than a year and has found no evidence of wrongdoing. She and others look forward to fighting these false allegations before a judge and jury, so the attorney She could restore her good name, now tarnished by the general’s unfair and unjust action.

The defendants’ arraignment is scheduled for July 9 at 10 a.m. in Mercer County.

The NJ Attorney General’s Office unsealed a 111-page indictment targeting a South Jersey power broker, and

Who is George Norcross?

George Norcross serves as CEO of Conner, Strong & Bucklew, an insurance firm with multiple locations but headquartered in Camden, New Jersey. Norcross also chairs the Cooper Health Board of Trustees.

Who is Philip Norcross?

Philip Norcross is an attorney, managing partner and CEO of the New Jersey law firm Parker McKay. Norcross, 61, is the registered agent for the groups that own the Camden buildings at the center of the investigation. He also serves on the Cooper Health Group.

Who is Dana Red?

Dana Redd was Camden’s mayor from 2010 to 2018, when the state accused him of abusing his power to benefit Norcross Enterprise and himself. Redd, 56, is the current CEO of the Camden Community Partnership and previously served as a member of the Camden City Council and the New Jersey Senate.

Who is William Tampussy?

William Tambussi is an attorney and partner at the Brown and Connery law firm in Camden County. Tambussy, 66, attorney for George Norcross. He served as a consultant to the Camden County Democratic Committee under Norcross from 1989 to 1995. He also served on the Camden, Camden Redevelopment Agency, Cooper Health and Connor Strong’s external council.

Following the indictment, the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, which represents more than 6,000 full-time faculty members and graduate workers, reiterated its call for Thambuzzi’s removal from the Rutgers University Board of Governors.

“This accelerates and deepens our desire to remove this individual from the Rutgers board of governors,” said Todd Wolfson, president of the union. “Having him on board is spitting in all of our faces.”

Wolfson said the union filed a lawsuit earlier this year seeking Tambussy’s dismissal.

He said the union plans to present its demands again at the ruling council meeting on Thursday.

CBS News Philadelphia reached out to Tambussi’s attorney and Tambussi by email but is awaiting a response.

Who is Sidney Brown?

Sixty-seven-year-old Sidney Brown, CEO of trucking and logistics company NFI, is a Cooper Health board member and a shareholder in the groups that own the Camden buildings centered around the investigation.

Who is John O’Donnell?

John O’Donnell serves on the executive leadership team of The Michaels, a residential development company. O’Donnell, 61, is a partner in the groups that own the Camden buildings involved in the allegations. He has also been a board member of Camden Community Partners on several occasions since 2018.

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