ACFCS Thanks the CFCS Review Committee for Updated and Improved Certification Exam
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Posted by: Brian Kindle
ACFCS has announced the launch of a revised and strengthened examination for the Certified Financial Crime Specialist (CFCS) credential this month. The test is now available in its “beta” format for certification candidates.
The new exam is the culmination of months of input and hard work by the subject matter experts who served on the Review Committee. It represents the most extensive review of the exam and its preparatory materials since the CFCS certification launched in May 2013.
Review Committee members, all of whom are CFCS-certified, painstakingly analyzed each exam question to identify any that were outdated, unclear or performing poorly with test-takers. After this initial evaluation, committee members wrote and revised more than 90 test questions.
This process led to the creation of the beta examination, currently being taken by CFCS candidates. After a representative sample of candidates complete the beta, the test form will undergo a final statistical review, and will become the “CFCS 2.0” examination set to launch next year.
“Our association is privileged to have such a remarkable community of experts who support and shape the CFCS credential,” said Brian Svoboda Kindle, VP of Program Development with ACFCS. “We’re very grateful for their time, effort and contributions.”
“The work and guidance of the Review Committee ensures that the certification exam is the most valid and current in the field. In doing so, Committee members have helped advance the knowledge and skills of financial crime professionals worldwide.”
The beta exam period is slated to run for the next two months, with the CFCS 2.0 exam launching in the first quarter of 2018.
ACFCS Thanks the 2017 Review Committee Members:
Alecia Allison, AVP, BSA/AML Risk, PNC Bank
Zach Baer, Senior Compliance Investigator, Mutual of Omaha
Andres Betancourt, Senior Manager, AML Program Sustainment, Scotiabank
Melissa Cate, VP, AML Monitoring and Investigations, BNP Paribas
Sonia Desai, BSA/AML Officer, Charles Schwab
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. She holds an MBA in international business and has had numerous years of global experience in developing Anti-money Laundering (AML), Sanctions and Anti-bribery and Corruption programs, policy and operations.
Prior to joining Charles Schwab, Ms. Desai 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 an Executive Manager with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney, Australia where she was the Global Deputy Money Laundering Reporting Officer (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 U.S. sanctions policy and the terrorist designation programs with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and other governmental intelligence agencies.
Toni Gillich, Senior Analyst, US Government Accountability Office
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.
Stephanie Gomes, BSA Unit Administrator, HSBC
Scott Grant, AML Manager, Global AML, TD Bank
Robert Hawkes, Sergeant, Ontario Provincial Police
Becki LaPorte, VP, AML Compliance Officer, Advisor Group
Becki is the Vice President and AML Compliance Officer for Advisor Group. The four broker-dealers that comprise Advisor Group are FSC Securities, Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial and Woodbury Financial Services. Advisor Group is one of the largest networks of independent broker-dealers in the United States. Becki’s team is responsible for reviewing and investigating activity across the financial crime spectrum including AML, fraud, and account intrusion. Prior to Advisor Group, Becki served as an Associate Director and Lead Compliance Trainer for FINRA®. FINRA® is the largest independent regulator of the securities industry in the United States. She developed and delivered training to FINRA examiners and investigators. She also provided guidance and consultation on open examinations and investigations specific to fraud and AML. She possesses nearly 20 years of financial services experience including 8 years in the banking industry. Becki is a member of the CFCS Charter Class. She is an alumnus of Penn State University.
Ashton Laurent, AVP, Compliance, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi
Gregor Lerche, Manager, Financial Crime Risk, HSBC
Nicole Meisner, Attorney, Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss
Nicole Meisner focuses her legal practice on the electronic payments industry. She counsels a wide range of financial institutions and financial services companies including merchant-acquiring companies, mobile payment providers, financial technology (FinTech) companies, money transmitters, prepaid access providers, and digital currency companies. Nicole advises these businesses regarding the structure of their flow-of-funds, strategic business relationships, impacts of state and federal regulations and industry rules, as well as contractual matters. Particularly, Nicole negotiates a variety of commercial agreements in the financial services/payments industry including: agency, sponsorship, and licensing agreements, contracts for independent sales organizations (ISO), BIN sponsorship, and agent bank and association contracts.
Nicole obtained her law degree from Nova Southeastern University. She has also been certified as a Financial Crime Specialist through the Association of Certified of Financial Crime Specialists and obtained a Masters of Business Administration for Financial Services Professionals.
Deborah Morrissey, Director, AML Compliance Caribbean Region, Western Union
Deborah Morrisey, CFCS, CAMS, is currently the Director, AML Compliance for the Caribbean Region of Western Union. She is responsible for regulatory compliance oversight of all the countries within the Caribbean Region that Western Union services.
Ms. Morrisey served over 25 years in the US Government. She ended her government career in 2013 as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Financial Division at the Miami Office for Homeland Security Investigations. During her time with the government, she investigated one of the first Internet based financial frauds schemes, led a groundbreaking investigation into the laundering of illicit proceeds through insurance policies and headed a division dedicated to investigating all aspects of international financial crimes and money laundering. Ms Morrisey has worked closely with the World Bank, Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury and Department of State in the fight against international public corruption.
She is a nationally recognized subject-matter expert (SME) in financial investigations and money laundering. She has taught money laundering investigative techniques and spoken on AML compliance issues at numerous national and international conferences and the International Law Enforcement Academy. She received her BA from Seton Hall University.