MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Federal investigators say the people responsible for educating your child may have cheated on their teacher exams. Their accused ringleader is a former MCS administrator.
Clarence Mumford faces 45 counts of conspiracy and fraud. The feds say people paid him thousands of dollars to arrange for someone else to take their licensing exam.
Mumford is a Hughes, Arkansas school counselor who once worked as an assistant principal with Memphis City Schools. He left MCS two years ago amid allegations he offered money to a student for sex.
The feds say this scheme lasted for 15 years.
"Obviously at some point this was so widespread and known, with this involving so many people for so much time," stated U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton, III.
People may not have known Clarence Mumford, but teachers knew there was someone out there they could pay to take their tests.
The feds say people paid Mumford between $1,500 and $3,000. He then hired test takers and made fake ID's for the fill-ins.
An employee at a testing site first discovered there was a problem.
According to Stanton, "There was a proctor of an exam who noticed someone took the test in the morning and in the afternoon, looked at the credentials and noticed something wasn't right and reported that."
This isn't the first time Mumford's been in the public eye while working at Memphis City Schools.
In 1996, Mumford was accused of child abuse while an Assistant Principal at Humes Middle School.
In 2010, while working as a guidance counselor at Hillcrest High, he was accused of sexually abusing a student.
The feds say at least 50 people were involved in the test-taking scheme.
"It was very elaborate," Stanton said, "The more we investigated the more we found."
It's the students who may have suffered by having teachers who weren't really qualified to do their jobs. As Stanton noted, "It stains fabric of our education system."
Court paperwork says Mumford conspired with Memphis City Schools employees and former employees to carry out his scheme. But truth is teachers and wannabe teachers from Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee are alleged to have taken part in this scheme, and we're told they too will be prosecuted.