ATLANTA — A former member of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents was indicted Tuesday for racketeering in connection with a scheme to defraud investors.

Dean Alford is charged with one count of racketeering, one count of criminal attempt, one count of computer forgery and five counts of forgery in the second degree.

Alford is accused of selling fake accounts receivable invoices to investors, valued at $2.2 million, along with contracts and other documents to show his now-bankrupt energy development company was owed money by state agencies.

He also allegedly forged the signatures of state employees on those contracts and other documents while serving on the Board of Regents representing Georgia’s 4th Congressional District.

In a common business practice known as “factoring,” businesses may sell their accounts receivable to a third party at a discount. In this case, Alford’s alleged scheme was to obtain $1.7 million.

“Acts of fraud and corruption have no place in Georgia’s state government,” said John Fowler, deputy attorney general for the state Department of Law’s Prosecution Division. “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.”

If convicted, Alford faces five to 20 years in prison for racketeering, one to 10 years for criminal attempt, one to 15 years for computer forgery and one to five years for forgery in the second degree. He also could be fined up to $225,000.

The joint investigation included the Office of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity and White Collar Crimes Section, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the University System of Georgia and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The indictment was returned in Rockdale County Superior Court.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Alford in the case last year.

Alford resigned from the Board of Regents in October 2019. About two weeks later, 39 investors filed a civil suit accusing him of running a Ponzi scheme.

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