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Ex-SC State board member, 2 others plead guilty

COLUMBIA (AP) — Three men, including a former South Carolina State University board member, have pleaded guilty to bank fraud and conspiracy.

Phillip Mims, Robert A. Williams and Lance Wright pleaded guilty Nov. 6 in federal court in Charleston. They will be sentenced later and face punishments of up to 35 years in prison.

Wright resigned from the board of the Orangeburg school in May 2012, citing personal reasons. Prosecutors say he, Mims and Williams partnered on business deals and used loans to pay off other expenses, not their intended projects.

Federal prosecutors wouldn’t say if the charges are connected to a probe centering on former S.C. State board chairman Jonathan Pinson. Prosecutors say Pinson tried to get the university to buy land from a Florida developer in exchange for a Porsche SUV.

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