CONYERS — Warrants were issued Thursday for the arrest of Dean Alford, a prominent Conyers businessman, on charges of racketeering and criminal attempt to commit theft by taking, according to the GBI and the state Attorney General’s Office.

Alford allegedly engaged in a $1.8 million racketeering scheme and attempted to defraud the University of Georgia out of more than $480,000.

Alford, who represented Georgia’s 4th Congressional District on the Board of Regents, resigned effective Thursday at the request of Gov. Brian Kemp. The Board of Regents oversees the University System of Georgia.

According to the GBI and the Attorney General’s Office, Alford allegedly exploited a practice in the financial services sector known as “factoring,” in which a business sells its accounts receivable to a third party at a discount. The third party then collects the full amount of the accounts owed.

“Acts of fraud and corruption have no place in Georgia’s state government,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “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 alleged to have transmitted fraudulent documents to Versant Funding in an effort to deceive the company into believing that he had legitimate purchase agreements and accounts receivable with various entities. The warrants allege that Alford was attempting to sell the accounts receivable to Versant for $1,798,327.

Alford is also accused of creating a fraudulent invoice acknowledgement form, dated Sept. 24, to submit to Versant. The document allegedly falsely claimed that UGA would pay Versant $487,982 to satisfy a debt owed to Alford’s company, Allied Energy Services LLC. The document allegedly was forged using a university employee’s signature.

“This illustrates that fraud and corruption at any level will not tolerated in Georgia,” sai GBI Director Vic Reynolds. “GBI’s partnership with prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies is essential to continued public trust. Our agency is committed to holding violators accountable.”

The investigation by the

Editor

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.