Home World News Ex-Facebook top manager stole $4 million from company

Ex-Facebook top manager stole $4 million from company

Barbara Furlow-Smiles, a former global head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Facebook, admitted to embezzling over $4 million (approximately Rs 32 crore) from the company through fake vendors, fictitious charges, and cash kickbacks.

The funds, she bagged between 2017 and 2021, were used to run a lavish lifestyle in California and Georgia.

Furlow-Smiles manipulated the company’s expense account system, linking her corporate credit cards to payment services such as PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App. This enabled her to make payments to various individuals for services that were never rendered to Facebook, the probe has found.

These recipients, including friends, relatives, and associates, would then kick back a portion of the money to Furlow-Smiles.

“Associates paid cash kickbacks in person and by Federal Express or mail, sometimes wrapping the cash in other items, such as T-shirts,” a press release by the attorneys said.

The 38-year-old top-level manager “knowingly devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud Facebook â€æ and to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretences, representations, and promises, and by omission of material facts,” according to court documents.

She used the money for fraudulent activities, including paying for personal expenses such as hair stylists, babysitters, and even $18,000 in tuition fees for a preschool.

Barbara Furlow-Smiles has pleaded guilty, and her sentencing is scheduled for March 19, 2024. Until then, she remains free on a $5,000 bond.