October 18, 2023. The Anti-Fraud (TAF) Coalition is pleased to announce that Sarah Feinberg has been awarded the prestigious title of “Whistleblower of the Year” for 2023.
In describing the award presented to Ms. Feinberg, TAF wrote:
After honorably serving her country as a Captain in the Marine Corps, Sarah Feinberg went into the private sector to work in a familiar industry. defense contracting. While working at Booz Allen Hamilton, Ms. Feinberg discovered that Booz was charging the federal government for expenses that Booz incurred in its non-government work. Booz leadership, seeking to make up for losses in the company’s commercial and international operations, mixed commercial and international work into Cost Centers intended solely for federal contracting work. Ms. Feinberg repeatedly warned her colleagues that this practice was illegal and unethical and pushed for change. When Booz leadership, including its Chief Financial Officer, refused to stop the fraud, she resigned and filed a qui tam lawsuit. After seven years of investigation and negotiation, the Government settled with Booz for $377,453,150.
Ms. Feinberg grew up in Columbus, Ohio and earned her undergraduate degree on an academic scholarship from The King’s College in New York. After graduating, she entered Officer Candidate School with the Marine Corps and earned a commission as a second lieutenant. Ms. Feinberg served as a Logistics Officer for five years, eventually rising to the rank of Captain. She deployed to Iraq, commanding more than thirty Combat Logistics Patrols. In 2010, she was recognized as the Marine Corps Reserve Junior Officer of the Year.
Eventually, Ms. Feinberg left the military and took a position as a consultant with Booz. After earning her MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, she joined a three-person team tasked with improving Booz’s internal financial forecasting, and in that role became intimately familiar with the ways in which Booz accounted for costs incurred in its government contracts. It was then that she discovered that Booz was falsely claiming hundreds of millions of dollars from the United States government.
In order to hide losses incurred developing Booz’s “Commercial/International” operations, Ms. Feinberg discovered that Booz was lumping governmental and non-governmental work together under the same “Cost Centers,” which was one of the ways that Booz internally tracked costs. When a mixed Cost Center ended up with greater costs than revenue at the end of the fiscal year, Booz would ask the U.S. Government for additional payments to cover the difference. If a Cost Center did come in under its expected budget, Booz kept the surplus instead of returning it to the government.
When Ms. Feinberg brought the issue to the attention of her superiors, she was ignored. She spent almost a year escalating the issue, eventually taking it all the way to Booz’s Chief Financial Officer. When she was convinced that Booz leadership was intentionally committing fraud and had no plans to stop, she resigned. Represented by KaiserDillon PLLC and Tycko & Zavareei LLP, she filed a qui tam case in the District Court for the District of Columbia.
Ms. Feinberg spent many hours in multiple meetings with DOJ attorneys and investigators, explaining the financial reporting issues that underlay Booz’s fraud. After a lengthy investigation and hard-fought negotiations, DOJ reached a settlement with Booz for $377,453,150. DOJ’s press release announcing the settlement characterized it as “one of the largest procurement fraud settlements in history.”
We are honored to recognize Ms. Feinberg as TAF Coalition’s Whistleblower of the Year, for bravely serving her country, both as a Marine and a private citizen.
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Ms. Feinberg for her incredible contributions in uncovering fraud and advocating for the responsible use of taxpayer dollars.
For more information about the TAF Coalition, please visit their website.