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Preston Pleads Guilty To Fraud

December 15, 1998 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Grammy-winning singer and keyboardist Billy Preston pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and agreed to testify against other defendants in an alleged scam that netted about $1 million.

Preston, already in prison for violating probation on a cocaine possession conviction, entered his plea Monday.

Six other people are charged in the case, which alleges they set fires, staged thefts and rigged auto crashes in 18 bogus insurance claims.

Preston, who performed with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, agreed to testify against the others, including his former manager, Merle Otis Greene, 52, said Preston’s attorney, Craig T. Wormley.

The plea calls for five years of probation, one year in jail and $60,000 in restitution. Probation and jail time will run concurrent to Preston’s current sentence.

``Preston has taken responsibility for his past mistakes and is looking forward to the future,″ said his publicist, Lindajo Loftus.