Dante Dowers Becomes Sixth Guilty Plea In Teacher Test Taking Scandal
Memphis, TN – Dante Dowers, 40, of Belle Glade, FL, pled guilty today to aiding and abetting identification fraud in connection with the teacher certification cheating scam directed by ringleader Clarence Mumford, Sr., 59, of Memphis, announced United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, Edward L. Stanton III. This plea, along with previous guilty pleas by John Bowen, 63; Felippia Kellogg, 42; Jeryl Shaw, 40; Shantell Shaw, 40; and Carlos Shaw, 37; all of Memphis, brings to six the total number of guilty pleas thus far in Mumford Sr.’s teacher certification cheating scam.
The original indictment in the case, filed in July 2012, charged Mumford Sr. with orchestrating a scheme that began as early as 1995 to pay test-takers to take teacher certification examinations on behalf of teachers and hopeful teachers. In August, a superceding indictment charged Dante Dowers, 40, of Belle Glade, Florida and Mumford Sr.’s son, Clarence Mumford Jr., 28, of Memphis. And in September, a second superceding indictment charged ten more individuals, including Samuel Campbell, 39, of Jackson, Mississippi; Darcel Gardner, 35, of Columbus, Mississippi; Steve Holmes, 53, of Memphis, Tennessee; Valerie Humphrey, 47, of Oakland, Tennessee; Carlo McClelland, 35, of Meridian, Mississippi; Jacklyn McKinnie, 44, of Memphis, Tennessee; Jadice Moore, 30, of Port Gibson, Mississippi; Sarah Richard, 54, of Richland, Mississippi; Jeryl Shaw, 40, of Memphis, Tennessee; and Kimberly Taylor, 36, of Charleston, Mississippi. Cedrick Wilson, 34, of Memphis, Tennessee, was charged in a separate indictment related to the scam in October 2012.
During the guilty plea hearing, Dowers admitted to meeting with an aspiring teacher in late 2009 and receiving the aspiring teacher’s driver’s license and $3,580 payment, all of which he forwarded to Mumford, Sr. Mumford, Sr. used the driver’s license to create a fake identification with a test-taker’s picture on the aspiring teacher’s driver’s license. In July 2010, John Bowen, a test-taker who previously pled guilty in this case, passed a PRAXIS examination on behalf of the aspiring teacher.
This investigation is being conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Fabian and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirby May represent the government.