New Jersey Democratic kingmaker George Norcross indicted on racketeering charges

Influential Democratic power broker George Norcross, center, speaks outside the justice complex in Trenton, N.J., Monday, June 17, 2024, about being charged with racketeering and other charges in connection with government issued tax credits, saying he wants to go to trial in two weeks and calling New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin a “coward.”

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

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

Platkin accused George Norcross of leading a “criminal enterprise” in South Jersey that used political influence to tailor economic redevelopment along the waterfront of Camden, New Jersey to suit the defendants’ financial interests, extorting and pressuring others to obtain property rights and tax incentive credits linked to the development efforts.

“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 said.

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

Now a resident of Florida, George Norcross was in attendance at a press conference Platkin gave on the charges Monday in Trenton.

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

“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,” the attorney general 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,” Platkin added.

CNBC has requested comment on the indictment from George Norcross’ lawyer, Michael Critchley.

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