NJ Attorney General Indicts ‘Norcross Enterprise,’ Including Attorneys, CEOs, Former Camden City Mayor, on Racketeering


Camden City power broker George Norcross, his attorney brother, Philip, of Parker McCay, and personal lawyer William Tambussi; John J. O’Donnell of The Michaels Organization; NFI CEO Sidney Brown; and Camden Community Partnership CEO Dana Redd, former mayor of the city, all face conspiracy charges.

By Matt Skoufalos | June 18, 2024

Conner Strong & Buckelew Executive Chairman George Norcross. Credit: Conner Strong & Buckelew,

On Monday afternoon, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin unsealed a 13-count, 111-page indictment of five of the most influential people in Camden City, and charged them with running a racketeering conspiracy that tied the future of the struggling city to their whims and personal benefits.

Atop the list of defendants is George Norcross, the founder and executive chair of the insurance brokerage, employee benefits, and risk management consulting firm Conner Strong & Buckelew of Camden City, and the chairman of the board of Cooper Health.

Long described as Camden City’s power broker despite holding no public office, Norcross allegedly headed a criminal enterprise that Platkin said “used its power and influence over government officials to craft legislation tailored to serve the interests of the Norcross enterprise,” as well as “obtaining property and property rights through coercion, extortion, and other criminal acts.”

Complicit in those efforts, Platkin said, were Norcross and five other close associates who comprised what the state labeled “the Norcross enterprise.”

They are:

  • George Norcross’ brother, attorney Philip A. Norcross, 61, of Philadelphia, the managing shareholder and CEO of the Mount Laurel-based law firm Parker McCay.
  • 66-year-old William M. Tambussi of Brigantine, George Norcross’ personal attorney and partner at the Haddon Township-based law firm Brown and Connery, counsel to the Camden County Democratic Committee since 1989, and outside counsel to the City of Camden, the Camden Redevelopment Agency, Cooper Health, and Conner Strong.
  • former Camden City Mayor and current CEO of Camden Community Partnership, Dana L. Redd, 56, of Sicklerville.
  • 67-year-old Sidney R. Brown of Philadelphia, CEO of trucking and logistics company NFI, board member at Cooper Health.
  • 61-year-old John J. O’Donnell of Newtown, Pennsylvania, who has served as COO, President, and CEO of residential development company The Michaels Organization.



From at least as early as 2012 through the present, the state alleges that “the Norcross enterprise” directed the redevelopment of Camden City through criminal activity, including Racketeering, Conspiracy to Commit Theft by Extortion, Criminal Coercion, Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity, Misconduct by a Corporate Official, and Official Misconduct.

Properties involved in the indictment of George Norcross, et al. Credit: NJOAG.

At the center of the case is a handful of major properties in downtown Camden City, including the L3 Communications Complex at 1 Federal Street, the Triad 1828 Centre at 2 Cooper Street, and the 11 Cooper Apartment building at 11 Cooper Street.

All were developed with the aid of tax credits from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), and, according to the indictment, through strongarm tactics, including coercion, extortion, and misconduct.

Along the way, the Norcross enterprise allegedly:

  • installed loyalists in the executive board and leadership team at Cooper’s Ferry Partnership (now Camden Community Partnership) to facilitate real estate transactions through the nonprofit;
  • ran off developer Carl Dranoff from residential redevelopment rights and view easements he held around the waterfront, and interfered with his ability to negotiate with Camden City government;
  • built the Triad 1828 Centre, which headquarters NFI, the Michaels Organization, and Conner Strong & Buckelew, and collected some nearly $245 million in NJEDA tax incentives to do it.


“In short, this indictment alleges that a group of unelected, private businessmen used their power and influence to get government at the state and local levels to aid their criminal enterprise and further its interests,” Platkin said in a press conference Monday.

Camden City Mayor Frank Moran (left) and Michaels Organization President John O’Donnell confer at a groundbreaking ceremony for the 11 Cooper apartment building in April 2018. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

“Through their alleged acts, the Norcross enterprise was able to obtain the rights to build multiple buildings, and obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in government-issued tax credits, among other benefits,” he said.

“They allegedly did this with the complicity and acquiescence of various state and local officials who turned a blind eye to their duties and obligations to the people of New Jersey to instead serve the interests of a powerful few.”

According to the indictment, the companies represented by the accused also allegedly benefited materially from their actions.

As of 2023, Conner Strong Buckelew netted $8,623,552 in Grow New Jersey tax credits, which it sold for $7,933,667.

NFI received $7,866,221 in Grow New Jersey tax credits, and sold them for $7,186,923.

The Michaels Organization received $12,555,853 in Grow New Jersey tax credits, which it sold for $11,557,831.

During that same time period, those companies compensated the accused handsomely as well.

From 2012 to 2023, Conner Strong Buckelew paid George Norcross $29 million in wages, NFI paid Brown $60 million in wages, and The Michaels Organization paid O’Donnell $11.286 million.

Sidney Brown, CEO of NFI Industries. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

These interests are all subject to forfeiture, according to the indictment, which also mentions the potential and subsequent indictments of other unknown or unidentified co-conspirators in the schemes.

“It’s often said in New Jersey that politics is a blood sport,” Platkin said, “and what’s meant by that is that if you don’t go along with the demands of those in political power, you’ll get hurt.

“You might lose your job, might lost your business, maybe you lose your reputation.

“Or maybe government — the very government that you vote for, that you support with your tax dollars, that exists to serve you — will instead be weaponized against you,” the attorney general continued.

“All of these consequences are on full display in this indictment, but there is nothing inherent in our state’s culture that requires us to accept politics and government that functions this way,” he said.

Camden City Mayor Dana Redd in 2017. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

“Let today be a lesson for everyone in the state,” Platkin concluded.

“We will never back down from doing the hard work necessary to do the right thing for the right reasons.

“We will never stop pursuing justice,” he said. “When we say that no one is above the law, we mean it.

“And we will continue to hold accountable anyone who violates the law to serve their interests above the public interests, no matter how powerful they may be.”

All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. An arrest is not a conviction.

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