Dean Alford, a former member of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents who was involved with several proposed energy projects in Augusta, pleaded guilty to racketeering Thursday and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Alford who resigned from the Board of Regents 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.

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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.

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