Former Georgia Regent indicted on racketeering, forgery charges

Booking photo of former Georgia Board of Regents member Dean Alford. CONTRIBUTED BY ROCKDALE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Former Board of Regents member Dean Alford was indicted Tuesday on several charges involving allegations he ran a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of several million dollars, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr’s office announced Tuesday.

Alford was charged with five counts of forgery, one count of racketeering, one count of computer forgery and one count of criminal attempt. The racketeering charge has a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Alford created fake invoices, contracts, and other documents to show that his company was owed money from state agencies and forged the signatures of state employees on those contracts and other documents. Alford wanted to obtain approximately $1.7 million by selling fake accounts receivable invoices valued at approximately $2.2 million, prosecutors say.

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Efforts to contact Alford were unsuccessful Tuesday.

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“Acts of fraud and corruption have no place in Georgia’s state government,” Deputy Attorney General for the Prosecution Division John Fowler said in a statement. “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.”

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Alford was a member of the Regents, a 19-member board appointed by the governor, to oversee operations at the University System of Georgia. Alford resigned from the board in October 2019 when several law enforcement agencies began an investigation into the allegations.

Alford last month was ordered by a federal judge to pay nearly $10.8 million after about 100 investors filed a civil lawsuit saying he ran a Ponzi scheme that defrauded them.