Charges against a former member of the Georgia Board of Regents allege he faked contracts with colleges, banks and another company while seeking money from a financial company.
C. Dean Alford turned himself in at the Rockdale County jail on Friday and was released on $50,000 bail, records show. He hasn’t responded to emails seeking comment, and it’s unclear if he has a lawyer who could comment.
Racketeering and theft charges were announced Thursday against Alford, who is accused of trying to falsify financial transactions with Florida-based Versant Funding. Gov. Brian Kemp said Thursday that the Conyers resident resigned from the body that runs Georgia’s public universities at Kemp’s demand.
The charges say the 66-year-old Alford falsely claimed his company, Allied Energy Services, was owed $2.25 million from five entities, including the University of Georgia and Georgia Military College, a public college not run by the regents. He also claimed to be owed money from two banks, Columbus-based Synovus Financial Corp. and Bank of America, officials said. Finally, Alford claimed Atlanta-based solar energy firm Inman Solar also owed him money.
University System of Georgia spokeswoman Jen Ryan said UGA and other institutions governed by the regents do not do business with Allied Energy Services, describing the invoices as “false” in an email. Georgia Military College spokesman Jay Bentley deferred comment to state Attorney General Chris Carr’s office.
The allegations revolve around a common business practice known as factoring, in which a business will sell rights to future income to a lender in exchange for up-front money. The lender profits by buying the future income at a discount. Alford transmitted fraudulent documents to Versant trying to prove he had future accounts worth $2.25 million as part of an effort to sell them to Versant for nearly $1.8 million, the charges say.
As part of his effort to obtain money from Versant, Alford is also charged with theft by taking. Officials allege he faked a Sept. 24 document that he submitted to Versant claiming the University of Georgia would pay Versant nearly $488,000 to cover a debt the university owed to Allied Energy Services. Alford is charged with faking the signature of a University of Georgia employee
Alford has a long background in state government. He served five terms in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1983 to 1993 as a Democrat, but later gravitated toward Republicans. He later served on the state Board of Education and chaired the board of the Technical College System of Georgia, with then-Gov. Nathan Deal appointing Alford as a regent in 2012. Kemp reappointed him in July.