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Former Upper Cumberland deputy director pleads guilty to federal bank fraud in a plea deal

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COOKEVILLE, Tennessee — A former deputy director at the Upper Cumberland Development District has avoided possible prison time by entering a plea deal.

WTVF-TV (http://bit.ly/1K3uae7 ) reports Larry Webb pleaded guilty Monday to one count of federal bank fraud. Under the deal, Webb, who faced a potential 220 years in prison, agreed to testify against his former director Wendy Askins.

Askins resigned in 2012 after a series of news reports on questionable expenditures of agency funds that included a million-dollar house in Putnam County. Askins acknowledged making some mistakes but denied ever personally profiting from her job.

Webb, along with Askins, faced theft, bank fraud and money laundering charges. Askins is scheduled to go to trial next month.

Webb's attorney Ed Yarbrough says they felt accepting the plea was better than going to trial.

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