Former ‘Diversity Manager’ at Facebook Pleads Guilty to Stealing $4 Million From Company

A former Facebook “Diversity Manager” plead guilty to stealing more than $4 million from the company through an “elaborate scheme involving fraudulent vendors, fictitious charges, and cash kickbacks,” prosecutors said.

Barbara Furlow-Smiles, pleaded guilty to wire fraud involving the ordeal.

Records show Furlow-Smiles led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs at the tech company between January 2017 and September 2021.

The former employee was allegedly responsible for developing and executing DEI initiatives, operates, and engagement programs.

Prosecutors said Furlow-Smiles had access to company credit cards and was able to use her position to “cheat and defraud the company.”

She allegedly linked Venmo and PayPal accounts to her Facebook credit cards and used those accounts to pay friends and family.

“She used the money to live a luxury lifestyle in California and Georgia,” prosecutors said.

“This defendant abused a position of a trust as a global diversity executive for Facebook to defraud the company of millions of dollars, ignoring the insidious consequences of undermining the importance of her DEI mission,” U.S. Attorney Ryan Buchanan said.

“Motivated by greed, she used her time to orchestrate an elaborate criminal scheme in which fraudulent vendors paid her kickbacks in cash. She even involved relatives, friends, and other associates in her crimes, all to fund a lavish lifestyle through fraud rather than hard and honest work,” Buchanan continued.