Former Facebook and Nike Diversity Manager Gets Slapped With 5 Year Prison Sentence for $5 million Fraud Case

Earlier this week, federal prosecutors announced that Georgia resident Barbara Furlow-Smiles, a former diversity manager at Facebook and Nike, received a five-year prison sentence for stealing over $5 million from those companies that had been allocated toward DEI programs.

Furlow-Smiles pleaded guilty to committing wire fraud in the case back in December.  Atlanta United States Attorney Ryan Buchanan declared in a statement that Furlow-Smiles stole north of $4.9 million from Facebook “utilizing a scheme involving fraudulent vendors, fake invoices, and cash kickbacks.”

“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,” Buchanan added.

Furlow-Smiles used the money she stole “to fund a luxury lifestyle in California, Georgia and Oregon,” per Buchanan’s office. His office demanded that a judge sentence her to 6.5 years.

Furlow-Smiles worked as a lead strategist and global head of employee resource groups and diversity engagement at Facebook.

Prosecutors noted that when she worked at Facebook she connected PayPal, Venmo and Cash App accounts to her Facebook credit cards and  subsequently used those accounts to send payments to her friends, relatives, and other individuals supposedly for goods and services for the company that ended up never being rendered. 

“The vast majority of the money” that went to those other people was kicked back to Furlow-Smiles, prosecutors revealed.

In a sentencing memo, prosecutors recounted that Meta reached the conclusion that Furlow-Smiles started the scheme within months of coming onboard the company in 2017. Additionally, an investigation discovered that she had “manipulated individuals who were close to, and trusted her, including former interns,” who viewed her as a mentor.

After Facebook fired her in the middle of 2021, Furlow-Smiles held a position for Nike from November 2021 to February 2023 as senior director of diversity, equity & inclusion.

During her time in Nike, she carried out a theft scheme similar to the one she executed at Facebook, prosecutors added.

Furlow-Smiles was sentenced on May 13 in Atlanta federal court. On top of that, District Judge Steven Grimberg demanded that she pay restitution of $4.98 million to Facebook, and an additional $121,000 to Nike.

On a prior occasion, Meta informed CNBC that the company worked with police in the investigation of Furlow-Smiles. She must report to prison by July 22, 2024.

In the sentencing memo, prosecutors revealed that on top of the money Furlow-Smiles stole from the company, Meta lost over $4.5 million “in addition to other expenses, such as attorney’s fees, which were incurred as a result of Meta having to uncover and investigate her fraud scheme.”

“As Meta notes, ‘the harm from [Furlow-Smiles’] criminal conduct cannot be measured purely in financial terms,‘” prosecutors noted in their memo. “Her ‘crimes also resulted in anguish amongst those employees that worked closely with her.’”

Nike said to prosecutors that she was “entrusted as a leader for [the] company, that she would embody the value of ‘Doing the Right Thing’ which is one of NIKE’s key maxims,” the prosecutor said in their memo. As Nike argued,  ‘[t]o say that Ms. Furlow-Smiles violated our trust would be an understatement. The fraud committed by Ms. Furlow-Smiles violated the trust of and devastated the employees who managed and worked with her.”

Nike also said to prosecutors that Furlow-Smiles “complete lack of accountability or remorse was incredibly disappointing,” per the memo.

DEI is not just a mechanism of anti-white hate but it also functions as a vehicle for petty corruption that more properly belongs in a third world country. This is the kind of insanity that the Left has unleashed on America if it is not contained, cases like Furlow-Smiles’ will proliferate like no other. 

DEI ultimately must die if we want any semblance of a normal society. 

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