FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 6, 2012
For Information Contact:
Former Employee Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy Charge
in $900,000 Embezzlement Scheme
- She Conspired to Take Money Intended for Vendors -
WASHINGTON - Brenda L. Jones, 46, of Lothian, Maryland, pled guilty today to a federal conspiracy charge stemming from a scheme in which she and others embezzled more than $900,000 from her former employer, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Jones pled guilty before the Honorable Reggie B. Walton, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. No sentencing date was set. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Jones faces a likely sentence of 24 to 30 months in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. As part of the plea agreement, Jones agreed to a money judgment of at least $908,924, representing the amount of proceeds from the crime. She also is subject to an order to make restitution. The investigation in this case is continuing.
According to a statement of offense submitted to the Court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Schornstein, Jones worked from July 2005 until July 2006 at XM Satellite Radio (now known as Sirius XM Radio, Inc.), a corporation based in Washington, D.C., as an administrator in the Accounts Payable Department, a branch of the controller’s office. Jones’s duties included responsibility for payments to commercial vendors.
From 2005 until at least 2008, Jones and another XM Satellite Radio employee embezzled more than $908,000 from the company. They secretly diverted at least 26 payments, which were supposed to go to XM vendors, to bank accounts held by Jones. They also covered up the activities by altering data in the company’s accounting system. Jones then gave a portion of the monies to the other XM employee. More than $690,000 of the money went into Jones’s accounts after she had left the company.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Assistant Director McJunkin praised those who worked on the case, including the Special Agents of the FBI’s Washington Field Office as well as Legal Assistant Jared Forney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. They also commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Schornstein, who is prosecuting the case.