Georgia Board of Regents member Dean Alford abruptly resigned Thursday amid a state investigation, state officials announced.
The state Attorney General’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued an arrest warrant for Alford on suspected racketeering and criminal attempt to commit theft by taking charges.
He’s alleged to have exploited a common industry practice referred to in the financial services sector as “factoring.” Factoring is a financial transaction in which a business may sell its accounts receivable to a third party at a discount.
Alford is accused of creating a fraudulent invoice acknowledgement form, dated Sept. 24, to submit to a company called Versant, state officials said. The document is alleged to have falsely asserted that the University of Georgia would pay Versant $487,982.88 to satisfy a debt owed to Alford’s own company, Allied Energy Services, LLC, located in Rockdale County.
Alford allegedly forged a university employee’s signature on the document.
He’s also suspected of transmitting fraudulent documents to Versant to make the company believe he had legitimate purchase agreements and accounts receivable with various entities, state officials said. Alford was attempting to sell such accounts receivable to Versant in exchange for $1,798,327.06, investigators said.
Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement: “Every state official must follow the highest ethical standards in all aspects of their conduct. That is why I demanded, and received, Dean Alford’s resignation from the Board of Regents, effective immediately. The Attorney General and Georgia Bureau of Investigation will conduct a complete and thorough investigation.”
Alford, who was reappointed to the board in July, sent Kemp a two-sentence resignation letter.
“Please accept my letter of resignation from the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. It has been an honor to serve the State of Georgia.”
Alford was first appointed to the board, which oversees operations for Georgia’s public colleges and universities, in 2012. He previously served five terms in the Georgia House of Representatives.
Georgia Board of Regents chairman Don Waters said: “The allegations brought against Dean Alford, who resigned from the Board today, are shocking and deeply upsetting. We will continue assisting law enforcement in any capacity necessary throughout the investigation.”
Please return to www.ajc.com for updates.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.