ATLANTA — The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a former member of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents Thursday with defrauding at least 100 investors in a now-bankrupt energy development company.

Dean Alford, who also served in the General Assembly, fraudulently raised at least $23 million on behalf of Allied Energy Services LLC from 2017 to 2019, according to the SEC’s complaint. The investors, primarily Indian-American professionals, were guaranteed high annual rates of return.

The alleged scheme collapsed last year when Alford failed to make promised interest payments to several investors and then failed to repay the investors’ principal.

Alford resigned from the Board of Regents last October. About two weeks later, 39 investors filed a civil suit accusing him of running a $6 million Ponzi scheme.

“As alleged in our complaint, Alford was a prominent member of the community who misled retail investors for personal gain,” Justin Jeffries, associate regional director for the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office, said Thursday. “Investors should be wary whenever they are promised guaranteed, lucrative investment opportunities.”

According to the complaint, Alford presented Allied as a successful business when in fact it was struggling. He claimed investors’ funds would finance energy projects while using most of the money to make interest payments to earlier investors and for personal expenses, including a multimillion-dollar home.

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Alford consented to entry of a judgment finding that he violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. He also agreed that the amount of civil penalties will be set by the court at a later date.

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