She “knowingly conceived and intended to devise a plan and artifice to defraud Facebook and obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises, and by omission of material facts ” prosecutors said in the case. court documents consulted by Business Insider.
She presented the charges as fake expense reports, then asked the “sellers” to give her the money in cash or by transferring the funds to her husband’s account.
“The associates paid bribes in person and by Federal Express or mail, sometimes wrapping the money in other items, such as T-shirts,” the lawyers said in their press release. .
“We are cooperating with law enforcement on the matter involving this former program director, and we will continue to do so,” a Meta spokesperson said in an email to Business Insider.
Attorneys for Furlow-Smiles did not respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors said in court documents that Furlow-Smiles used his position on Facebook to appeal to sellers owned by friends and associates. Once Facebook agreed to onboard them, Furlow-Smiles inflated expense reports to make extra money that sellers sent back to her, prosecutors said. “In these reports, she falsely claimed that her associates or their businesses were providing goods and services on Facebook for various programs and events, when in fact that was not the case,” prosecutors said.
Among those involved in his scheme were relatives, friends, former interns from a previous job, “nannies and babysitters,” a hairdresser and his university tutor, prosecutors said.
Furlow-Smiles used this fraud to pay an artist $10,000 for specialty portraits and more than $18,000 for preschool tuition.
“This defendant abused a position of trust as global head of diversity for Facebook to defraud the company of millions of dollars, ignoring the insidious consequences of undermining the importance of its DEI mission,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Motivated by greed, she used her time to orchestrate an elaborate criminal scheme in which fraudulent sellers paid her cash bribes. She even implicated relatives, friends and other associates in her crimes , all to finance a lavish lifestyle through fraud rather than through hard means and honest work.”
Furlow-Smiles is expected to be sentenced in March 2024, prosecutors said.