Marc Hannon-White, a former Atlanta Regional Commission employee currently working for the city of Atlanta, has been arraigned on federal charges of extortion and soliciting and accepting bribes.

Hannon-White, 52, of Atlanta, is listed on the city’s website as its business relationship manager. According to a Nov. 7 news release, a federal grand jury indicted Hannon-White Nov. 5 on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion and two counts of Hobbs Act extortion.

In the release federal officials talked about the investigation and charges leveled against him.

“Hannon-White abused his position at the Atlanta Regional Commission to enrich himself,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said. “He allegedly extorted and took bribes from training providers that received federal funds through the commission.”

Rafiq Ahmad, special agent-in-charge of the Atlanta region for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, added, “An important mission of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud relating to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grants issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of allegations.”

Inspector General Deb Wallace of the State of Georgia Office of Inspector General said, “Hannon-White instilled fear in Georgia providers trying to compete in the global economy to line his own pockets with thousands of dollars of federal funds administered by the state of Georgia. Our partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor OIG and other agencies and law enforcement partners is essential for continued public trust. We are committed to weeding out individuals who misuse their positions for their own greed at the expense of Georgia taxpayers.”

According to Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) are federal public laws designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.

The commission administers WIOA and WIA funds by serving as the administrative agency for the Atlanta Regional Workforce Development Board for Cherokee, Clayton, Douglas, Fayette, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties. In this role, it oversees federally funded workforce development programs for those seven counties.

According to the release, between February 2014 and January 2015, Hannon-White worked for the division of commission that administered, managed and staffed those federally funded workforce development programs. During this time, he used his position to solicit and accept payments from training providers that received federal funds for each qualified student they trained.

As detailed in the indictment, Hannon-White allegedly arranged some of the bribe payments by text, sending his bank account number to one training provider who then caused money to be deposited into his account in exchange for receiving additional students.

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