Former regent of Georgia university system pleads guilty to racketeering

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ATLANTA – A former member of the Georgia university system’s board of regents pleaded guilty to racketeering on Thursday and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Dean Alford, who resigned from the board in 2019, admitted to participating in a scheme in which he sold fake accounts receivable invoices. In a common business practice known as “factoring,” companies can sell their accounts receivable to a third party at a reduced price.

The aim of the scheme was to get around $ 1.7 million by selling fake accounts receivable invoices worth around $ 2.2 million.

As part of the program, Alford created fake bills, contracts and other documents to show that his now bankrupt energy development company owed money to state agencies. He also forged the signatures of state employees on these contracts and other documents, using his position as regent to move the project forward.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has partnered on the case with the state attorney general’s office, the university system, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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“Our office is committed to prosecuting those who commit fraud against businesses, regardless of their position in society,” Deputy Attorney General Wright Banks said. “Alford tried to rob a business, and he’s paying a heavy price for his crime.”

Alford pleaded guilty before Superior Court Chief Justice Robert F. Mumford, who sentenced him to 15 years under state supervision.

After his eight-year sentence, Alford will spend seven years on probation. As a condition of his probation, he will not be allowed to do business with the state.

This story is available through a partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.


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