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Sirius sues 2 former employees for $500K

Sirius XM Radio Inc. has filed a civil suit against two of its former employees, claiming they embezzled at least half a million dollars between 2005 and 2008.

The New York-based satellite radio company, formed by the 2007 merger of one-time rivals Sirius and XM, alleges Brenda L. Jones and Valencia P. Person, who worked together in XM’s accounts payable department in Washington, D.C., secretly diverted what were supposed to be vendor payments to Jones’ personal bank accounts. Jones then transferred a portion of the money to Person, according to the complaint filed Tuesday.

According to the suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, the women altered vendor invoices and bank information to take the money — in 12 installments ranging from $10,250 to $84,924, mostly in 2006 — and voided the transactions on the company’s accounting system afterward. They may have taken even more, according to the suit.

Sirius XM discovered the fraud in January when one of its vendors reported not having received a payment, according to the suit. Person, who had been with the company almost a decade, was terminated at that point. Jones worked at XM from July 2005 to July 2006.

The women, who live in Prince George’s or Anne Arundel counties, “have been unwilling to fully account for all the funds,” according to the suit. Neither could be reached Thursday, and no lawyer has entered an appearance to defend them against counts ranging from conversion to conspiracy.

Among other relief, Sirius XM, which broadcasts more than dozens of news and entertainment channels to 20 million subscribers, seeks treble damages. Its New York attorney did not return a request for comment by press time.

An online search of state and federal listings did not reveal any criminal cases pending against the two women.