Court hearing for alleged test fraud ringleader

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A longtime Memphis educator is scheduled to appear before a federal judge on charges that he led a three-state organization that helped teachers cheat on qualification tests.

Coleman Garrett, a lawyer for Clarence Mumford Sr., told a federal judge last month that he was working on a plea agreement with government prosecutors. Garrett has said that Mumford could change his plea at Friday's hearing, depending on the deal reached with prosecutors.

Mumford has pleaded not guilty to more than 60 fraud and conspiracy charges.

Authorities say teachers paid Mumford to send someone else to take the tests in their place in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee over a 15-year period. The teachers allegedly used the passing test scores to get school jobs.

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