MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP, abc24.com) - A longtime Memphis educator accused of leading a 15-year scheme to help teachers cheat on qualification exams has changed his plea to guilty a week after he rejected a deal from prosecutors.
Clarence Mumford Sr. told a federal judge Jan. 25 that he wanted to go to trial on more than 60 fraud and conspiracy charges, even though his lawyer had recommended accepting the deal.
Prosecutor John Fabian said Friday in U.S. District Court that Mumford is pleading guilty one count of conspiracy to commit wire, identification and Social Security fraud and one charge of aggravated identity theft.
Prosecutors say teachers in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas paid Mumford to hire test-takers to pass the exams for them. The teachers then used the passing Praxis test scores to get school jobs.
Mumford's lawyer, Coleman W. Garrett, was asked after court if his client was sorry. "No, not in those words, as he sees it, what he did was wrong, and he should be punished for it, but no one has taken into consideration the price he has already undergone," he said. "38 years of a teaching career has been destroyed."
Sentencing is scheduled for May 13; Mumford faces up to 7 years behind bars.
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