The founder of an Arlington-based minority business investment firm pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to a single fraud count following a year-long investigation of charges that he diverted more than $100,000 in Small Business Administration funds.

Under a plea agreement reached with U.S. prosecutors in Alexandria, Bentley Vaughn Plummer, president of Professional Capital Corp., conceded he falsified a January 1977 SBA license application in which he agreed not to use SBA funds to repay any debts owed by his company.

According to court documents, Plummer later used part of the funds to repay a $106,000 loan taken out to inflate his firm's capital investment figures while applying for $855,000 in SBA money ostensibly to be invested in minority-owned businesses.

District Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. set sentencing for Nov. 20 and freed Plummer on a personal recognizance bond. Plummer could face up to five years in prison or a $10,000 fine or both.

Prosecutors Theodore Greenberg and Vincent Gambale of the U.S. attorney's white-collar crime division told Bryan the investigation showed Plummer also arranged a series of business loans to personal or business acquaintances involving "direct or circuitous kickbacks" to himself.