Former Facebook and Nike DEI official sentenced to prison for $5 million fraud scheme

Barbara Furlow-Smiles, a former senior Facebook and Nike diversity, equity, and inclusion official, has been sentenced to five years in prison after defrauding her employers out of more than $5 million. 

Furlow-Smiles, a resident of Marietta, Georgia, oversaw Facebook’s DEI programs from January 2017 to September 2021. She used her position at the company to fake business deals in exchange for kickbacks, stealing more than $4.9 million. 

After being terminated from Facebook, Furlow-Smiles led Nike’s DEI initiatives as senior director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. There, she stole over $120,000 between 2021 and 2023. 

At both companies, Furlow-Smiles used access to corporate credit cards, phony paperwork, and her authority to make purchases and approve invoices for vendors to commit fraud. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia announced the charges, stating that Furlow-Smiles had pleaded guilty to
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