Former Facebook Executive Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $4 Million in Luxurious Spending Scheme

Los Angeles, California – December 16, 2023

Former Facebook Executive Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $4 Million

Barbara Furlow-Smiles, an individual from Atlanta, has admitted guilt in the embezzlement of “more than $4 million from Facebook” while serving as the lead strategist and global head of employee resource groups and diversity engagement. The disclosed information from the “U.S. Attorney Northern District of Georgia Ryan K. Buchanan’s Office” reveals that Furlow-Smiles was employed at Facebook, now Meta, from January 2017 to September 2021.

Buchanan expressed disdain for Furlow-Smiles’ actions, stating, “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.”

According to the U.S. Attorney, Furlow-Smiles exploited her role by misusing her Facebook expense account to sustain an opulent lifestyle in both California and Georgia. The funds were allegedly diverted to cover personal expenses, ranging from hair stylists to an $18,000 preschool tuition.

The intricate nature of Furlow-Smiles’ fraudulent activities involved linking her company credit cards to popular payment platforms like “PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App.” Using these cards, she purportedly made payments for services that were never rendered, a scheme uncovered by the investigative team.

Buchanan detailed the extent of the deceit, stating, “Friends, relatives, and associates who received the payments would then return some of the money to Furlow-Smiles as a kickback.” The accused allegedly created inflated invoices to pay these individuals, who would, in turn, refund a portion of the payment to Furlow-Smiles.

In a damning revelation, Buchanan emphasized, “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 sentencing for “Barbara Furlow-Smiles” is scheduled for March 19, 2024. This case not only exposes a breach of trust within the corporate realm but also underscores the lengths to which individuals may go to finance extravagant lifestyles through illicit means. The aftermath of this guilty plea will likely reverberate across the corporate landscape, prompting increased scrutiny of financial practices and accountability measures.

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