G. McConway
December 14, 2023

Former Facebook DEI Manager Stole More Than $4m from Facebook

You just have to love it when woke gets robbed.

Such is the case for Facebook, where its Lead Strategist, Global Head of Employee Resource Groups and Diversity Engagement at Facebook, Barbara Furlow-Smiles, stole more than $4 million to fund her lifestyle.

Furlow-Smiles pleaded guilty to having stolen the money between 2017 and 2021.

Getting Mine

According to the filing, Furlow-Smiles was defrauding Facebook in several different ways.

For instance, she submitted fraudulent invoices as well as taking kickbacks. The scam was so lucrative, she even had friends and family involved.

US Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan stated, “This defendant abused a position of 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.

“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.”

The scheme went pretty deep, as she was somehow able to link her personal PayPal, Venmo, and CashApp accounts to her company credit cards, then she would pay friends and family for “goods and services” by those accounts.

The only problem was that none of these people were actually providing any goods or services to Facebook. They were fraudulent invoices to create another money stream for Furlow-Smiles.

Once the payments were made, her friends and relatives would keep a percentage, then return the rest of the money to Furlow-Smiles to add to her personal stash.

Furlow-Smiles was also awarding Facebook contracts to companies that had already agreed to kick money back to her if they got the gig.

Furlow-Smiles sentencing hearing is set for March 19 with US District Judge Steven D. Grimberg.


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