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MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC-TV) – One man has been indicted on 45 counts of conspiracy to violate United States laws in connection to a teacher certification scam that involved at least 50 teachers and aspiring teachers in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
According to U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee Edward L. Stanton, Clarence Mumford, 58, of Memphis was charging teachers money and in return, finding other people to pose as them to take their teacher certification examinations.
Aspiring teachers are required to pass the PRAXIS examinations in order to obtain a teaching license.
According to the indictment, the scam began in 1995 and went on until March 2010.
Mumford is accused of charging teachers and aspiring teachers between $1,500 and $3,000 per test. As part of the operation, Mumford would get the teachers' identifications, as well as I.D. from the people actually taking the tests. He made fake I.D.'s that were used by the test-takers to gain admission into the exams.
Mumford reportedly made tens of thousands of dollars from the 15 year operation.
"In an area that should be sacrosanct - the education of our children – Mumford has created an atmosphere in which teachers who are not only unqualified, but who have also gained credentials by fraud, stand in front of our children every day," said U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton in a written statement.
The investigation into Mumford's scheme was conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service.
His charges consist of mail fraud, wire fraud, social security fraud, aggravated identity theft, and fraud in connection with identification documents.
Mumford is currently a counselor in Hughes, AR. He receives retirement from Memphis City Schools.
He was released on his on recognizance.
Read the official indictment and news release about this test-taking scheme: