Per press release from Georgia’s Attorney General’s Office:
ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation today announced that a joint investigation of suspected racketeering and criminal attempt to commit theft by taking has warranted the arrest of Clarence Dean Alford, a former member of the Board of Regents representing Georgia’s 4th Congressional District. Alford has resigned from the Board of Regents, effective immediately. The Board of Regents is the body with the responsibility of overseeing the University System of Georgia.
“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.”
Arrest warrants have been issued for racketeering and criminal attempt to commit theft by taking. Alford is alleged to have exploited a common industry practice referred to in the financial services sector as “factoring.” Factoring is a financial transaction in which a business may sell its accounts receivable to a third party at a discount.
“This illustrates that fraud and corruption at any level will not be tolerated in Georgia,” said Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation 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 joint investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Attorney General is active and ongoing. The University System of Georgia and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, led by Commissioner Rick Swearingen, assisted in this joint investigation.
Alford is suspected of transmitting fraudulent documents to Versant Funding LLC (Versant) for the purposes of deceiving the company into believing that he had legitimate purchase agreements and accounts receivable with various entities. It is alleged that Alford was attempting to sell such accounts receivable to Versant in exchange for $1,798,327.06.
Criminal Attempt to Commit Theft by Taking:
Alford has also been accused of criminal attempt to commit theft by taking for creating a fraudulent invoice acknowledgement form, dated September 24, 2019, to submit to Versant. The document is alleged to have falsely asserted that the University of Georgia would pay Versant $487,982.88 to satisfy a debt owed to Alford’s own company, Allied Energy Services, LLC. It is also alleged that the document was forged using a university employee’s signature. It is also alleged that the actions were all in an attempt for Alford to obtain payments from Versant.
Update: I’ve been contacted by a friend of Alford’s wife, Debbie Dlugolenski Alford, with the news that she is filing for divorce. She has had a 25 year career in Georgia politics & public service in her own right, recently retiring from running the Georgia Lottery Corporation and currently serving on the Georgians First Commission.