Ex-Diversity Boss at Facebook, Nike who Stole $5M Sentenced to 5 Years and Must Repay $$$

Barbara Smiles, video screenshot

Barbara Furlow-Smiles, 38, the ex-diversity program manager for Facebook and Nike, set up fake business deals, invoices and events to steal $5 million via fraudulent vendors, fake invoices, and cash kickbacks. She was sentenced to  five years behind bars — and ordered to pay back the entire sum, $4.9 million to Facebook and $120,000 to Nike.

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The ex-diversity program manager for Facebook and Nike who stole more than $5 million from the mega companies to fund her “luxury lifestyle” was sentenced Monday to five years behind bars — and ordered to pay back the hefty sum.

Barbara Furlow-Smiles, 38, set up fake business deals, invoices and events — including a Juneteenth celebration — to line her own pockets, the Justice Department said.

“Furlow-Smiles shamelessly violated her position of trust as a DEI executive at Facebook to steal millions from the company utilizing a scheme involving fraudulent vendors, fake invoices, and cash kickbacks,” said US Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said in a statement.

“After being terminated from Facebook, she brazenly continued the fraud as a DEI leader at Nike, where she stole another six-figure sum from their diversity program.”

Furlow-Smiles pleaded guilty in December to the wire fraud scheme, which saw her take more than $4.9 million from Facebook before bilking another six-figure sum from Nike “to fund a luxury lifestyle in California, Georgia, and Oregon,” the DOJ said.

The social media company claimed her “crimes also resulted in anguish amongst those employees that worked closely with her,” while Nike slammed her “complete lack of accountability or remorse was incredibly disappointing,” according to sentencing memos obtained by CNBC.

From approximately January 2017 to September 2021, the Georgia native “led diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs at Facebook and was responsible for developing and executing DEI initiatives, operations, and engagement programs,” prosecutors said.

She used her access to company credit cards and her power to approve invoices for authorized vendors to pay numerous individuals,” including her friends and relatives, “for goods and services that in truth were never provided to Facebook.”

Those individuals — which allegedly included her former interns, her “university tutor,” a hair stylist, babysitters and nannies — would later funnel kickbacks to Furlow-Smiles.

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Ed
Ed
1 month ago

such a pleasant looking person too. sad.