Former Diversity Manager Admits to Stealing Millions From Facebook

Barbara Furlow-Smiles, who held the position of diversity program leader at Facebook, confessed to stealing more than $4 million from the company through a sophisticated kickback scheme. Between January 2016 and September 2021, Furlow-Smiles admitted to using company funds for personal advantage. Furlow-Smiles is in charge of Facebook’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts.

She lived the high life in more than one state thanks to her job as worldwide head of employee resource groups and diversity engagement, which she abused. Furlow-Smiles engaged in financial mismanagement when she misrepresented friends and family as suppliers of Facebook with phony goods and services, funneled corporate payments to these people, and then took kickbacks.

Friends and colleagues of Furlow-Smiles would return the majority of the funds received from Facebook to her, either in the form of cash or by moving them to accounts under her or her husband’s names.

Past interns, a university instructor, a hairstylist, babysitters, and nannies were all caught up in the conspiracy and were accused of funneling bribes to Furlow-Smiles. The fate of these associates in relation to the fraud is still up in the air.

To stay under the radar, she submitted false cost reports, making these people look like they were actual merchants at her Facebook events. Included in the scheme of things was the fraudulent acquisition of specialized pictures and preschool services, among other things, that were never actually provided to the business.

US Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan remarked, “Motivated by greed, she orchestrated an elaborate criminal scheme, having fraudulent vendors pay her kickbacks in cash. She engaged relatives, friends, and associates in her crimes to finance an opulent lifestyle through deceit, disregarding honest work.”

In response, Meta, Mark Zuckerberg’s company, stated, “We’re collaborating with law enforcement on this case involving the former program manager and will continue to do so.”

Furlow-Smiles, 38, cheated Facebook out of millions of dollars while she was its global head of employee resource groups and diversity engagement. She was involved in fraudulent operations during her time there. She exemplifies the repercussions of abusing one’s position of power by taking advantage of Facebook’s trust and resources.




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