Former Nike Diversity Manager Sentenced to Prison for $5 Million in Fraud

Barbara Furlow-Smiles stole over $5 million from her roles with Meta (Facebook) and Nike.

Barbara Furlow-Smiles, a former diversity manager at Meta (Facebook) and Nike, pleaded guilty to a $5 million fraud case in December 2023 and was sentenced to prison for 5 years and 3 months this week.

In addition to her sentence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia ordered Furlow-Smiles to pay restitution of $121,054.50 to Nike and $4,981,783.58 to Meta-owned Facebook.

In conclusion, the court sentenced the following:

5 years and 3 months imprisonment
3 years of supervised release
Restitution of $5,102,838.08

During her time at Facebook from 2017-2021, Furlow-Smiles admitted to stealing over $4.9 million as part of the scheme to fund a “luxury lifestyle,” prosecutors said. After she was terminated from Facebook, Furlow-Smiles ran a similar scheme with Nike, where she worked from 2021-2023 and stole more than $100,000.

As Lead Strategist at Facebook, Furlow-Smiles’ employer put an extreme amount of trust in her, only to have that trust completely violated.

After she was fired, 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.

Keri Farley, FBI Atlanta Special Agent

Furlow-Smiles is the latest major scandal at Nike in recent years with former marketing manager Errol Andam charged in a $1.5 million scheme and ex-VP of North America, Ann Hebert, stepping down from her role after it was revealed she was using her employee discount to help her son’s resale business.

“I blew it big time,” Furlow-Smiles admitted in a letter to the judge in her case.

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