A former University System of Georgia Board of Regents member is facing charges in connection to a $1.8 million racketeering scheme, according to the state’s attorney general.
Attorney General Chris Carr alleges that Clarence Dean Alford falsified documents in the name of the University of Georgia and other organizations to obtain payments for his company. Alford has since resigned from the board that oversees the University System of Georgia.
“Acts of fraud and corruption have no place in Georgia’s state government,” Carr said. “Those who are trusted to be public servants must discharge their duties ethically and honestly, and when they do not, this office and our law enforcement partners will hold them accountable.”
Alford is now facing racketeering and attempted theft charges. According to authorities, Alford created fraudulent invoice acknowledgment forms to obtain payments from liquidation company Versant Funding LLC. One of the forms, dated Sept. 24, was forged with a UGA employee’s signature. Authorities allege it was part of Alford’s plan to swindle money from Versant.
“The document is alleged to have falsely asserted that the University of Georgia would pay Versant $487,982 to satisfy a debt owed to Alford’s own company, Allied Energy Services, LLC,” Carr said.
The joint investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Attorney General, The University System of Georgia and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement revealed that Alford created similar documents for other organizations that he had purchase agreements for in exchange for more than $1.7 million.
“This illustrates that fraud and corruption at any level will not be tolerated in Georgia,” said Vic Reynolds, director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Alford was first appointed to the Board of Regents in 2012 by Former Gov. Nathan Deal. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees and chairman of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association and a member of the Georgia Tech Foundation. Alford has served as a consultant to the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and won an award for his service to the community.
Gov. Brian Kemp reappointed Alford to the Board of Regents in mid-July.
"Every state official must follow the highest ethical standards in all aspects of their conduct," Kemop said. "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,” Kemp.
The investigation is ongoing, according to the attorney general’s office.