The Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists is privileged to be guided by thought leaders and experts in compliance, financial services, law enforcement, regulatory and other roles who serve on its Advisory Board. Board members play an integral role in shaping the direction of ACFCS and the benefits it delivers to its global community of financial crime professionals.
A highly experienced financial crime expert with diverse international experience, he has many years of experience working in international development, primarily in the area of public financial integrity, risk management, and anti-corruption. For over 14 years, he worked and lived in various countries in the Pacific, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, with a number of different development agencies, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and others. Currently, Ken is a Senior Anticorruption and Good Governance Advisor with the Governance and Rule of Law Team with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
A veteran financial crimes professional with extensive experience in Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Anti-Bribery and Corruption and federal law enforcement, he is a senior vice president and audit director for Bank of America where he is responsible for global AML audit activities. He was a vice president in the Corporate Bank Secrecy Act Office at Wells Fargo, where he led an enterprise-wide effort that promoted the convergence of fraud and AML tools across department lines. Before the acquisition by Wells Fargo, he was vice president of Wachovia’s Financial Intelligence Unit, playing a role in multiple areas of counter-financial crime.
Sonia Desai is the BSA/AML Officer for Charles Schwab Bank based in San Francisco, CA. She has previously lived and worked in Malaysia, Egypt, the Dominican Republic, and Australia. Sonia has numerous years of global experience in defining Anti-money laundering (AML), Sanctions and Anti-bribery and Corruption programs, policy and running operations. Prior to joining Charles Schwab, she was the Director of Operations and Sanctions Officer for the BSA/AML and Sanctions unit at Bank of the West. Prior to that, she was the Executive Manager with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney, Australia where she was the Global Deputy MLRO, Sanctions Officer and Anti-Bribery and Corruption Officer. Before moving to Australia, she worked in the Financial Investigations Unit at Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco, helping build their BSA/AML and Sanctions Programs. Sonia has also served as a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Department of State. In that role she helped shape the U.S. sanctions and the terrorist designation programs with the Office of Foreign Assets Control and other governmental intelligence agencies.
Vice President of Compliance Solutions at Alacra, he is responsible for leading a customer-focused product roadmap to ensure KYC/AML and vendor/third party due diligence compliance with a range of regulatory requirements. Prior to joining Alacra in 2014, Kelvin was at Dun & Bradstreet for 9 years. most recently as Managing Director of Compliance Solutions and previously as principal consultant for several of D&B’s strategic customers, leading engagements in compliance, reference data, credit review and risk management. Before joining D&B, Kelvin spent a combined 20 years in Compliance, Credit, Loss Prevention and Managerial roles at two major financial institutions. He is a member of the charter class of Certified Financial Crime Specialists and is a current member of the advisory board at the Association of Certified Financial Crimes Specialists.
Secretary General of the Union of Arab Banks he leads the largest banking consortium in the region and sole representative of the Arab banking community, which aims to develop and advance the banking and financial markets, and exchange expertise with international counterparts. He has an extensive 20-year background and considerable expertise in Arab and international banking and financial sectors. Previously, he served as the Deputy Secretary General at UAB, as well as Manager of Databank & Information Technology. He gained a worldwide channel of communication through organizing international, regional and local conferences on banking and financial matters in cooperation with the US Department of the Treasury, World Bank, IMF, FATF, United Nations Security Council and European banking federation.
A Senior Analyst with the Government Accountability Office, she is part of a team responsible for conducting performance audits for the US Congress, covering a wide range of financial services industry issues. She has 15 years experience in auditing banking and securities issues, focusing on financial crimes. Currently, she is part of ongoing projects related to virtual currencies and cyber threats to financial institutions. She has led audits on the oversight of suspicious activity reporting, banking and securities regulators’ anti-money laundering examination programs, and various payments systems and banking issues. She has contributed to numerous audits involving other financial crimes issues including violations of financial sanctions programs, Mexican cartels, and maritime piracy. Before her auditing career, she was a lobbyist in international trade issues.
J.R. Helmig, Founder and CEO, Leveraged Outcomes
Blending expertise gained from the client facing financial services and national security industries, he founded Leveraged Outcomes LLC. to be a critical force multiplier during times of regulatory change, operational risk, and strategic opportunity. Focuses include technology selection and implementation, data collection and processing, and modernizing analytical processes and workforces. He has successfully created and delivered innovative solutions for executives in Fortune 20 companies, the U.S. Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Treasury, the Intelligence Community, and foreign equivalents. Prior roles include designing commercial and government based FININT strategies as a Principal at Lockheed Martin, developing advanced analytical capabilities for DHS’ automated screening systems, and supporting the C-suite at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a Senior Advisor (GS-15) during a multiyear technology modernization. Prior financial industry experience includes managing client facing portfolios in excess of $100M for major institutions such as Merrill Lynch as well as emerging companies.
Formerly the Chief AML Officer for Canada’s most international bank, he oversaw all aspects of Scotiabank’s anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and sanctions programs, encompassing 3,115 branches and offices worldwide. He coordinates AML compliance for major business lines, supports line management in assessing and managing money laundering and other risks, and develops standards, procedures, training, and monitoring and surveillance programs. He has over 30 years experience in the financial services and compliance fields, and has held a variety of progressively senior roles in retail banking, business banking, internal audit and compliance functions.
Barry Koch, Counsel to the Investigation Division, New York County District Attorney’s Office
Barry Koch is Counsel to the Investigation Division at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. Formerly, he was Chief Compliance Officer at Western Union, where he led a global team of about 2,200 compliance professionals. A lawyer, he is a frequent speaker at diverse private and public sector events, including those of the United States Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, State and Treasury, the IRS and DEA, the intelligence and diplomatic communities and Financial Intelligence Units worldwide. He has addressed a plenary session of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on Leveraging Anti-Money Laundering Regimes to Combat Human Trafficking and the National Association of Attorneys General Presidential Initiative Summit on Human Trafficking. He served as Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on the United Nations and Other International Organizations, Chair of The Consular Law Society, Inc., and legal counsel to the Society of Foreign Consuls in New York. A licensed pilot and motorcycle enthusiast, he has taught international business law as an adjunct faculty member of Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business Administration.
A former Special Agent with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), he has an extensive background in financial crimes risk management working in both the private and public sectors. He currently serves as one of the most senior BSA and AML compliance officers at one of the largest banks in North America. While at IRS-CID he was responsible for conducting complex money laundering and financial fraud investigations and also served in an undercover capacity. As a consultant at KPMG he led teams that conducted numerous financial crime and money laundering investigations. He also performed reviews that resulted in the implementation of procedures that enhanced the fraud control environment at institutions across multiple sectors.
VP of Network Compliance for AIG, Becki LaPorte was formerly the lead compliance trainer for FINRA®, the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States, she possesses nearly 15 years of financial services experience and brings a unique perspective to financial crime detection and prevention. She develops and delivers anti-money laundering and securities fraud detection training throughout FINRA® including online, entry level and advanced learning. She partners regularly with law enforcement and other financial crime experts to develop courses that address the current trends in financial crime.
Michael R. McDonald, Principal, Michael McDonald & Associates, Miami
One of the leading experts in the world on money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act regulation, especially as they pertain to money services businesses, he completed a distinguished career as a Special Agent of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. In 1980, six years before enactment of the US money laundering law, he helped found the pioneering Operation Greenback, the first multi-agency money laundering task force, which recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in assets from drug traffickers. Since his retirement, he has advised foreign governments on their proceeds of crime and asset forfeiture laws and procedures.
A Member at the firm of Mintz Levin, he was previously deputy chief of the Fraud Section of the US Department of Justice, where he directed and supervised some of the Justice Department’s most important financial crime initiatives and investigations of the past decade, including fraud and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. He is now a partner at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, in Washington, DC, specializing in white collar defense. He led the prosecution leading to the conviction of Allen Stanford for his $7 billion Ponzi scheme, and fraud prosecutions involving PNC, AIG, General Reinsurance and BP. Under his leadership, the Justice Department’s FCPA unit increased the number of corporate and individual prosecutions and assessed a ten-fold increase in fines and penalties. Before joining the Justice Department, he was Chief of the Economic Crimes Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida.
Leader of Threat Management PwC’s practice, he advises clients in the public and private sectors on leading practices in managing governance, risk, and compliance. With more than 20 years’ experience helping clients’ design, develop, and monitor corporate compliance programs targeted at mitigating risks of economic crime, he has also advised the US and foreign governments on public policy issues related to the development and implementation of governance and anti-corruption strategies to promote transparency and investigative measures to combat terrorist financing.
As Global VP and General Manager, he leads the NICE Actimize Anti-Money Laundering line of business, overseeing product creation, solution delivery, go-to-market planning, and client relationship management activities across all Actimize AML solutions. As the leader of the AML business, he is responsible for growing our market-leading position and ensuring continuous innovation, decision making, and agility to meet the needs of financial services firms around the world. He brings a decade of global enterprise software experience for high-growth markets, with expertise in portfolio management and new product development across analytics, audit-compliance, business process management, and customer relationship management solutions for the banking, insurance, energy, and life sciences markets.
The acclaimed architect of policies and procedures to attack illicit proceeds, he is the former Chief of the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Financial Operations, an office he pioneered, where he launched initiatives to attack the flow of drug money to international sources of drug supply which, during his tenure, denied about $12 billion in revenue to domestic and international drug trafficking organizations. He was also the DEA representative on the US Treasury Department’s Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group and OFAC Kingpin Committee. He has decades of law enforcement experience and has testified as an expert witness in more than 45 trials in federal district courts on money laundering and regulatory requirements. Previously, he spent 30 years in the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division as a Special Agent and in senior leadership positions.
Managing Director at financial crime consulting firm, SHC Consulting, New York, and Managing Partner of Sklar, Heyman, Hirshfield & Kantor LLP, CPAs, New York, he is a leading expert in anti-money laundering and US Bank Secrecy Act compliance and controls at non-bank financial institutions. He frequently lectures and conducts seminars in the US and other countries and testifies in cases as a valuation expert. He is a member of the Charter Class of CFCS-Certified specialists, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Fraud Examiner, and Certified in Financial Forensics.
Founder and President of The Bayshore Group LLC, Nassau, The Bahamas, and a top financial crime, AML and compliance specialist for 15 years, she develops financial crime compliance training programs, conducts internal control and company risk assessments, provides non-executive directorship and corporate services with a focus on financial institution and corporate governance for international clients. A lawyer, she previously was Head of Operations and the MLRO at Swiss Financial Services (Bahamas) Ltd., in Nassau, and a leader of the FATCA Compliance Development Team of the Swiss Financial Services Group. Previously, she was the Compliance and Legal Officer at Santander Bank & Trust (Bahamas) Ltd. A frequent speaker, she is charter member of the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists (ACFCS) and an Executive Board Member of The Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers (BACO).
A highly regarded industry leader on the subjects of risk management, financial crime risk management, security, anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing, John has been the CEO of SightSpan Inc, since 2007. He has also held numerous high-level positions within the financial services industry, including leadership roles at Wachovia Bank, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch along with multiple international trading entities which he managed for the majority of his career. With more than 25 years of experience in the financial services sector, both within the USA and in high risk countries throughout the Middle East, Europe and Latin America, his expertise and insight into international business management, compliance, security and overall operational risk management have earned him the reputation as a leader in the financial crime field.
A distinguished expert on international financial crime with decades of experience in criminal trials and consultancy work for the public and private sector, he is a partner at the firm of Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe and the editor of International Enforcement Law Reporter, a respected monthly publication. He has worked as a consultant and counsel for fourteen governments and the United Nations on tax enforcement and international criminal law issues. His private practice includes counseling corporations and individuals on extradition and international evidence gathering cases, and counseling witnesses for grand jury investigations, and he has testified before Congress on multiple occasions. A prolific writer, he has authored and edited several books and hundreds of articles on international law.
Michael F. Zeldin, Special Counsel, BuckleySandler
Michael Zeldin is Special Counsel in BuckleySandler’s Washington, DC, office where he helps lead the firm’s Anti-Money Laundering and Economic and Trades Sanctions (AML/ETS) practice. Prior to joining BuckleySandler, Mr. Zeldin was the global leader of the anti-money laundering/economic and trade sanctions practice at a Big Four accounting firm. Mr. Zeldin counsels financial institutions and non-financial companies as well as individual Board members and senior executives with respect to their responsibilities under AML and sanctions laws, with a particular focus on the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), Title 18 criminal money laundering laws, and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). He has served as the Independent Consultant appointed by federal and state banking regulators on numerous occasions for a wide array of domestic and global financial institutions.This work also has, in particular occasions, involved federal and state law enforcement agencies including the United States Department of Justice as well as the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.