2 change pleas in federal fraud case

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Two former officials of the Sommet (soh-MAY') Group have changed their pleas in what prosecutors describe as a $20 million fraud scheme.

The federal plea agreements reverse initial pleas of Marsha Whitfield and her father, D. Edwin Todd. The Tennessean ( ) reported that, at a Wednesday hearing, Whitfield pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud. She has also agreed to testify against her former husband, L. Brian Whitfield.

Todd pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy.

Prosecutors say the now-defunct human resources firm that was based in Franklin used clients' money for personal expenses that included a houseboat.

Brian Whitfield's trial is scheduled for January.

The company formerly held naming rights to Nashville's downtown arena, then called the Sommet Center.


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