New post Need visibility? Apply for a FREE post for your Startup.  Apply Here


Former Meta Diversity Executive pleads guilty to $4M fraud charges

1 Mins read
  • Former Facebook employee peas guilty to charges of spending $4 million of company on luxury lifestyles.

A former global diversity executive at Meta (formerly Facebook) has pleaded guilty to defrauding the company of over $4 million to fund her luxury lifestyle.

The 38 year old former employee, Barbara Furlow-Smiles, worked as head of employee resource groups and diversity engagement at Meta’s California headquarters from 2017 to 2021. She admitted to stealing millions through an elaborate kickback scheme involving fake vendors, falsified invoices, personal credit cards and cash payoffs.

The prosecutors in-charge of the case detailed how Furlow-Smiles exploited her position and trust to cheat the system. They claimed she routed company payments to friends disguised as services never actually rendered. They would then return portions of the money to Furlow-Smiles directly or to her husband.

According to investigators, over 4 years, the scheme enabled Furlow-Smiles to bankroll expensive hair stylists in California, private school tuition, personal portraits and other lavish expenses.

“She ignored the consequences of undermining her important diversity mission based on greed and deceit,” U.S. Attorney Ryan Buchanan, said.

The admission of guilt comes after Meta uncovered suspicious activity last year and aided federal officials with ensuing inquiries. Furlow-Smiles was indicted in November 2022 on multiple federal fraud charges.

Her plea deal means Furlow-Smiles now faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines when sentenced on March 19th, 2024.

The high-profile fraud case further further shows the accountability risks that tech giants like Meta, as well as tech startups, go through in the hands of employees with dirt bags.

Don’t miss any tech news ever!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

785 posts

About author
When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
Related posts

Ride-hailing services in Edo State to face new regulations

1 Mins read
Edo State is gearing up to introduce new regulations for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Bolt that operate within its boundaries. The…

Facebook caught red-handed spying on Snapchat users

1 Mins read
In a shocking revelation, Facebook (now Meta) has been caught red-handed spying on the web traffic and private user data of its…

Google Begins Rolling Out Gemini AI Integration in Google Messages Beta on Some Devices

2 Mins read
Google has reportedly begun rolling out a beta integration of its conversational AI, Gemini, directly within the messaging app. Get ready to…
Newsletter Subscription

🤞 Don’t miss any update!

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy

Join our Telegram channel here -

Leave a Reply