Former Georgia Regent to serve 8 years in prison for racketeering

Booking photo of former Georgia Board of Regents member Dean Alford. Alford pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced Oct. 7 to serve eight years in prison. CONTRIBUTED BY ROCKDALE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
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Booking photo of former Georgia Board of Regents member Dean Alford. Alford pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced Oct. 7 to serve eight years in prison. CONTRIBUTED BY ROCKDALE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Former Georgia Board of Regents member Dean Alford was sentenced Thursday to serve eight years in prison on a racketeering charge.

Alford, 68, pleaded guilty Thursday before Rockdale County Chief Superior Court Judge Robert F. Mumford. Upon completion of his prison sentence, Alford will spend another seven years on probation. As a condition of his probation, Alford may not conduct any business with the state of Georgia.

Alford was arrested in October 2019 on allegations he forged invoices in a moneymaking scheme for his Rockdale County business, Allied Energy Services LLC.

Alford submitted unpaid bills to a collection agency to recoup money owed to his company for work he claimed he’d done for Georgia colleges and other companies but had not been paid for. The collection company, Versant Funding, a Florida-based business, is a financial services sector company that specializes in “factoring,” a financial transaction in which a business may sell its unpaid invoices to a third party at a discount and pay a fee when the money is collected. The scheme, prosecutors said, was discovered about a week after they said Alford tried to recoup money for work that wasn’t requested or done.

“Alford tried to steal from a company, and he is paying a steep price for his crime,” Chief Deputy Attorney General Wright Banks said in a release.

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The criminal case was not the only legal drama surrounding Alford. In April, he was ordered to pay nearly $10.8 million after about 100 investors say he ran a Ponzi scheme that defrauded them. U.S. Securities and Exchange officials say Alford sold promissory notes to investors — primarily Indian American professionals in the Columbus area — and guaranteed he would provide high annual rates of return. However, Alford’s company, Allied Energy Services, was struggling and he could not repay his investors.

Alford served 10 years as a state representative before then-Gov. Nathan Deal named him to the Regents in 2012. Alford resigned from the board around the time of his arrest.

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