(STL.News) – Marc Hannon-White, a former Atlanta Regional Commission employee, has been arraigned on charges of bribery and extortion.
“Hannon-White abused his position at the Atlanta Regional Commission to enrich himself,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “He allegedly extorted and took bribes from training providers that received federal funds through the Commission.”
“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,” said Rafiq Ahmad, Special Agent-in-Charge, Atlanta Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.
“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 US 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,” said Inspector General Deb Wallace of the State of Georgia Office of Inspector General.
According to U.S. Attorney 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 Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) 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, ARC oversees federally funded workforce development programs for those seven counties.
Between February 2014 and January 2015, Hannon-White worked for the division of ARC that administered, managed, and staffed those federally funded workforce development programs. During this time, Hannon-White 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 Hannon-White’s account in exchange for receiving additional students.
Marc Hannon-White, 52, of Atlanta, Georgia, was arraigned before Christopher C. Bly, United States Magistrate Judge, on federal charges of extortion and soliciting and accepting bribes. A federal grand jury indicted Hannon-White on November 5, 2019, on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion, and two counts of Hobbs Act extortion.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General is investigating this case with the help of the State of Georgia Office of Inspector General.