FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 16, 2012
For Information Contact:
Former Employee Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy Charge
in $900,000 Embezzlement Scheme Against XM Satellite Radio
- She Conspired to Take Money Intended for Vendors -
WASHINGTON - Valencia Person, 54, of Suitland, Maryland, pled guilty today to a federal conspiracy charge stemming from a scheme in which she helped embezzle more than $900,000 from her former employer, XM Satellite Radio, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Person 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. Sentencing is scheduled for June 8, 2012. The charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison. However, 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, Person agreed to a money judgment of at least $909,924, representing the amount of proceeds from the crime. She also is subject to an order to make restitution.
According to a statement of offense submitted to the Court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Schornstein, Person worked at XM Satellite Radio (now known as Sirius XM Radio, Inc.), a corporation based in Washington, D.C., as a coordinator in the Accounts Payable Department. Her duties included responsibility for payments to large vendors.
From 2005 until at least 2008, Person and an XM Satellite Radio Accounts Payable Administrator, Brenda L. Jones, embezzled more than $909,000 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 Person. Jones resigned in 2006. However, more than $690,000 of the money was transferred into her accounts after she had left the company.
According to Person, she personally benefitted from the scheme in an amount not exceeding $125,000.
Jones, 46, of Lothian, Maryland, pled guilty in January 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She is awaiting sentencing.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Assistant Director in Charge 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.