Robin L Marshall/Getty Images

A former diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) manager for Nike and Facebook will spend the next 5 years in prison.

US Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan accused Barbara Furlow-Smiles, 38, of stealing $5 million from Facebook to “fund a luxury lifestyle in California, Georgia, and Oregon.”

“Furlow-Smiles shamelessly violated her position of trust as a DEI executive at Facebook to steal millions from the company utilizing a scheme involving fraudulent vendors, fake invoices, and cash kickbacks,” Buchanan said.

A judge sentenced Furlow-Smiles to serve five years and three months in a federal prison. Additionally, she was ordered to serve three years of supervised release.

Facebook hired Furlow-Smiles as Lead Strategist, Global Head of Employee Resource Groups and Diversity Engagement from January 2017 to September 2021.

The social networking giant terminated Furlow-Smiles after discovering $4.9 million was diverted in fake expense reports.

Furlow-Smiles approved fake invoices from vendors she had personal connections with. The “vendors” included her friends, relatives, nannies and babysitters, a hair stylist, and even her university tutor.

Once Facebook paid the vendors, she instructed her friends and family to kickback some of the money they received.

After losing her job at Facebook, Nike hired her as a diversity, equity and inclusion leader. According to the feds, she promptly stole over $120,000 from Nike.

“She carelessly continued her fraudulent schemes at Nike, thinking she was untouchable. As a result, she not only threw away a lucrative career, but will serve time behind bars for her excessive greed,” FBI Special Agent Keri Farley said.