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Press Release

Clarence Mumford, Jr. Becomes Twelfth To Plead Guilty In Teacher Test Taking Scandal

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN – Clarence Mumford, Jr., 29, of Memphis, TN, 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 Mumford, Sr.,; John Bowen, 64; Felippia Kellogg, 42; Jeryl Shaw, 40; Shantell Shaw, 40; Carlos Shaw, 38; Jacklyn McKinnie, 44; Steve Holmes, 54; all of Memphis; Valerie Humprey, 47, of Oakland, Tennessee; Carlo McClelland, 35, of Meridian, Mississippi; and Dante Dowers, 40, of Belle Glade, Florida; brings to twelve 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 Dowers, and Mumford Jr. And in September, a second superceding indictment charged 10 more individuals, including Samuel Campbell, 39, of Jackson, Mississippi; Darcel Gardner, 35, of Columbus, Mississippi; Holmes; Humphrey; McClelland; McKinnie; Jadice Moore, 30, of Port Gibson, Mississippi; Sarah Richard, 54, of Richland, Mississippi; Jeryl Shaw; 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, Mumford, Jr. admitted that Bowen took a Principles of Learning and Teaching examination on Mumford, Jr.’s behalf in January 2008 at the University of Mississippi and that he subsequently obtained a professional teaching license from the Tennessee Department of Education based, in part, on the examination taken by Bowen. In addition to having this test taken by Bowen, Mumford, Jr. also admitted to taking examinations on behalf of others including Willie Knox, 55; Carlo McClelland; and Cedrick Wilsonn of Memphis, TN.

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.

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Updated April 17, 2023