Bureau Chief

ATLANTA — A former member of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents pleaded guilty to racketeering Oct. 7 and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Conyers resident Dean Alford, who resigned from the board in 2019, admitted he took part in a scheme in which he sold fake accounts receivable invoices. In a common business practice known as “factoring,” businesses may sell their accounts receivable to a third party at a discount.

The goal of the scheme was to obtain approximately $1.7 million by selling fake accounts receivable invoices valued at about $2.2 million.

As part of the scheme, Alford created fake invoices, contracts, and other documents to show that his now-bankrupt energy development company was owed money from state agencies. He also forged the signatures of state employees on those contracts and other documents, using his position as a regent to further the scheme.

Alford, a prominent Conyers businessman who also served in the General Assembly, is well known in the Rockdale County community as co-founder of the Miracle League, a baseball league for children with disabilities. The first Miracle League was developed in Conyers and the program has expanded across North America.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation partnered on the case with the state Attorney General’s office, the university system and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“Our office is committed to prosecuting those who perpetrate fraud on businesses – regardless of their position in society,” Chief Deputy Attorney General Wright Banks said. “Alford tried to steal from a company, and he is paying a steep price for his crime.”

Alford pleaded guilty before Rockdale Chief Superior Court Judge Robert F. Mumford, who sentenced him to 15 years under state supervision.

Following his eight-year sentence, Alford will spend seven years on probation. As a condition of his probation, he will not be allowed to conduct any business with the state.

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I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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