'Doing the right thing' earned $40 million for an ex-Marine mother of three

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After multiple combat tours in Iraq as a U.S. Marine officer, Sarah Feinberg was proud to join the ranks of Booz Allen Hamilton, a prestigious firm headquartered in suburban Washington, D.C., that holds annual contracts valued at $6.5 billion with nearly every U.S. government agency.

Touting itself as one of “the world’s most ethical companies,” Booz Allen has counted former senior U.S. intelligence officials among its corporate officers. Feinberg thought she fit right in, and after taking leave to earn an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, she was promoted to a position tracking internal financial data.

She soon made a discovery that would change her family’s life.

Feinberg uncovered what the Justice Department ultimately declared was a civil fraud scheme under which Booz Allen allegedly was overcharging U.S. taxpayers to subsidize its money-losing private consulting contracts, including with foreign governments such as Saudi Arabia. After a yearslong investigation, Booz Allen last month admitted no wrongdoing while paying a $377 million settlement, what DOJ officials said was the third largest contract fraud settlement in history.