Defendants in Teacher Testing Fraud Case in Court

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Lawyers for five people charged with being part of a ring that helped teachers cheat on qualification exams say their clients plan to change their pleas from not guilty.

Seven defendants in the wide-ranging fraud case appeared before U.S. District Judge John Fowlkes Friday.

Lawyers for five of them requested new hearings where their clients could change their pleas to "no contest" or guilty.

Attorneys for two other defendants said they needed more time to review discovery in the case and set new report dates.

Prosecutors say people were paid to take Praxis certification exams on behalf of current or aspiring teachers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee over a 15-year period.

The teachers then allegedly used their passing grades on the exams to get jobs in public school systems.

Six Mississippi teachers were indicted, including
Meridian High School physical education teacher and football coach, Carlo McClelland, 34, who was charged with mail fraud. he was placed on administrative leave.