ATLANTA — An ex-employee of the Atlanta Regional Commission is accused of seeking and accepting bribes in administering workforce development programs, the U.S. Attorney's office announced Friday.
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung J. "BJay" Pak said that Marc Hannon-White, 52, "allegedly extorted and took bribes from training providers that received federal funds" through the ARC.
The ARC oversees the federally funded job training programs in seven area counties - Cherokee, Clayton, Douglas, Fayette, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale - and Hannon-White worked in the division of the commission that administered, managed and staffed the programs.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Hannon-White's bribery and extortion pattern worked like this: The job training providers are paid by the federal government a certain amount of money for each student they trained, so, naturally, they want as many students as possible.
Hannon-White allegedly both took bribes from these job training providers to assign them students or otherwise extorted them for payments to receive students.
The funds are part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the Workforce Investment Act.
“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," said Inspector General Deb Wallace of the State of Georgia Office of Inspector General.
The scheme ran from February 2014 to January 2015, the U.S. Attorney's office said.
During that time 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 Hannon-White’s account in exchange for receiving additional students."
He was charged on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, and two counts of extortion.
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