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ACFCS

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FVW Snapshot: In flurry of fraud, synthetic IDs rising, swarming from digital data graveyard

A cornucopia of fraud themes, schemes and scams are exploding across the world – particularly from foreigners targeting countries like the United States – and more often than not, when fraudsters try to get that money, those funds could be originating or flowing through your institution.

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The Front Lines - The Investigations Series: Charity Scams Amid International Turmoil

This month, we will examine how fraudsters prey on the hearts and souls of innocent people who wish to help their fellow man in times of unforeseen crises, particularly surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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The Future of Fincrime Skills: Our Four-Day event to broaden knowledge, sharpen expertise is over, but the fight against financial crime must go on

What does the next generation of fincrime fighter look like? These professionals will be compliance champions, working shoulder-to-shoulder with law enforcement at all levels, focused on the latest actions of threat actor groups and attuned more closely to rising and receding risks – rather than fretting over regulatory minutiae

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ACFCS Fincrime Canada Summit Snapshot: Counterfeiting is not a 'victimless' crime, with ties to deadly terror attacks, drug overdoses

While many may think of counterfeiting as a relatively innocuous crime – fake fancy footwear, designer purses, clothing, leather goods and electrical equipment, like phone chargers – it is a multi-billion-dollar problem that is serious, deadly serious.

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ACFCS Fincrime Canada Summit Snapshot: Counterfeiting is not a 'victimless' crime, with ties to deadly terror attacks, drug overdoses

While many may think of counterfeiting as a relatively innocuous crime – fake fancy footwear, designer purses, clothing, leather goods and electrical equipment, like phone chargers – it is a multi-billion-dollar problem that is serious, deadly serious.

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Financial Crime Prevention Expert, Erin O'Loughlin, Joins ACFCS as its Senior Director of Training

The Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists (ACFCS), a CeriFi Company, today announced that financial crime industry expert, Erin O’Loughlin, recently joined ACFCS as Senior Director of Training, reporting to Brian Kindle, Vice President of Product at ACFCS.

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Enforcement Spotlight: With AML fine against CEO, OCC completes rare C-suite Sweep at Rabobank with prior penalties against CCO, general counsel

The country’s top regulator has completed a rare C-suite sweep of top officials at the U.S. operations of a Netherlands-based bank, doling out individual monetary penalties against a former chief compliance officer, former general counsel and, in a just-announced action, the former chief executive.

 

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The View from the Top: A new joint statement by regulators on the AML risk-based approach has bought more confusion than clarity, with some arguing certain 'dangerous' lines could even lead to resource retrenchment

A new joint statement by regulators on the endless twisting knot of the anti-money laundering risk-based approach has brought more confusion than clarity and has the sector guessing on the government’s true motives behind the cryptic message – and what new expectations lurk in the shadows.

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Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: How do you conquer compliance? Be an 'information sponge' beyond AML to look at broader fincrime investigation, prevention, deterrence fields

In this initiative, ACFCS is engaging the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling but demanding and everchanging field.

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Former FATF head Lewis lands at Kroll, with parting shots at AML watchdog's ability to argue over minor details in reports, but miss big picture challenges

The former head of the watchdog body setting global fincrime compliance standards has landed at a top consulting firm, but not before leveling some parting shots at the travails and triviality of some his former technocrat colleagues.

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With updated U.S. Action Plan, key pillar of National AML priorities , Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month commands more attention, focus from fincrime complaince teams

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month with Tuesday, January 11, being designated as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, a somber remembrance, but a necessary one done to focus more attention on a growing problem with tethers to financial crime compliance teams and law enforcement agencies at every level.

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ACFCS Cryptocrime Workshop Takeaways Day Two: With crypto value surge, pandemic scams, ransomware attacks, more banks, exchanges reporting on aberrant activity

Speakers highlighted that even as Canada in recent years has become a world leader in forging public-private partnerships between banks and regulators to better stamp out human trafficking, child exploitation, romance scams and illicit activity – more must be done.

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With reported resignation of FATF head, world's most influential AML watchdog faces questions about independence, integrity, success, succession

The head of the world’s top counter-crime compliance watchdog has resigned, a surprise move after he was given a three-year extension, leaving a gaping gap threatening to slow gathering global momentum to champion fincrime program effectiveness – at the country and institution levels.  

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The Front Lines - The Investigations Series: How to Transition from Public to Private Sector

This month, I will discuss the subject of public sector professionals transitioning into the private sector, specifically into the Compliance/Financial Crime/Risk industry- and what both the hiring managers and applicants can do to bridge the gap between them.

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Basel AML Index 2021: An ounce of prevention worth a pound of effectiveness when it comes to countering criminals, championing compliance

A global index on financial crime risks has issued its annual rankings, with the diminutive European principality of Andorra, taking the top spot, while the besieged and beleaguered Caribbean Island of Haiti, got the worst score.

CAREER TIPS

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Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: Keys to breaking into, conquering compliance field - highlight your 'attitude and aptitude,' be inquisitive in hunt for broad knowledge, in-demand skills

In this initiative, ACFCS is engaging the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling but demanding and everchanging field.

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Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: Want to rise in your compliance career? See it as a calling, not a job, work to craft a 'stable moral system, sharp mind, analytical thinking, courage to act'

In this initiative, ACFCS is engaging the fincrime compliance community to share critical wisdom and practical insights on how to enter, elevate and lead in a fulfilling, demanding and everchanging field: countering illicit finance around the globe.

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Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: What are the keys to complaince career success? Be inquisitive, ubiquitous, hardworking, and above all, have unshakeable honesty, integrity

In this initiative, ACFCS is engaging the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling but demanding and everchanging field.

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FinCrime Career Investigative Tips and Tricks: Be quizzical, skeptical, triangulate answers to anticipate lies - and don't forget to check social media for anything fishy

In this initiative, ACFCS is engaging the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to build, broaden and sharpen your investigative toolkit with the goal to become a more effective investigator.

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Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: To rise in field, knowledge of rules must pair with practical tools, regulations align with investigations, practice innovation through association

In this new initiative, ACFCS engages the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling but demanding and everchanging field.

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Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: A 'happy accident' opens door to countercrime compliance career, fueled by 'What If' scenario to stop Ponzi powerhouse

In this new initiative, ACFCS engages the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling but demanding and everchanging field. For this tip, we travel to the United Arab Emirates, to see through the eyes of a professional in the high-pressure, high-stakes world of international sanctions compliance.

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Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: To grow, rise in field, look for knowledge gaps, niche to specialize, set yourself apart

In this new initiative, ACFCS engages the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling but demanding and everchanging field.

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Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: To conquer compliance, champion convergence, have an open mind to think globally, act locally

In this new initiative, ACFCS engages the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling, but demanding and ever changing, field.

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Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: To rise in the field, develop nose for news to attack alerts, communicate to innovate, connect with wider compliance world

In this new initiative, ACFCS engages the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling, but demanding and ever changing, field.

COMPLIANCE

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Banks struggling on compliance staffing due to soaring sanctions, hot competitions for SMEs, examiners more tightly linking ESG, financial, AML risk in specter of new 'climate-related financial risk' exams: OCC

Many of the nation’s largest banks are struggling to find, hire and keep senior-level staff with the experience, knowledge and skills to manage ever-more complex, scrutinized and liability-laden fincrime compliance programs, according to a just-released federal regulatory bulletin.

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The Inside Track: When working to comply with rising Russian sanctions, uncover opacity-enabled oligarchs, use tax IDs to connect cronies, companies

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine and leveling of new sanctions has required everyone in the financial industry to improve their due diligence efforts regarding firms in Russia and Ukraine

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Emerging Risks Interview Series: Environmental, Social, and Governance Risk: The New Risk Frontier?

In ACFCS’s Emerging Risks series, we sit down with Thomas Mangine, Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) for the Bank of Montreal, to explore how Environmental, Social, and Governance risk (ESG) is helping financial institutions examine their levels of risk in a new way. Tom provides his expertise on how ESG emerged, which institutions are implementing it, and how it may evolve over time.

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The Inside Track: To bolster fincrime compliance training, learn how to see big picture, explain small details and profit from understanding roles, revenue pressures

In this special ACFCS look at the historic degree of change in recent years in the fincrime compliance world, ACFCS Senior Director of Training Solutions, Casey Nelson, lets us look through his eyes to hone in on ways to improve one of the most oft-criticized prongs of the program: training.

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The View from the Top: Getting started in compliance - be proactive, push yourself to the front of the queue by targeting companies, hiring managers, build name on social media

If you want to get ahead in an increasingly competitive compliance field – where one job posting can get hundreds of responses – you might have to go small to eventually go big, and use a bit more precision in your resume decisions.

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New ESG Regulatory Challenges for Financial Institutions

AML, KYC, CFT… and now ESG? When it comes to effective financial crime compliance programs, environmental, social and governance criteria (ESG) is not just another in the seemingly endless number of acronyms.

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Special ACFCS Video Financial Crimecast: NICE Actimize's Stephen Taylor talks conquering compliance with consortium, federated learning, training tips to boost effectiveness regionally, globally and more

In this special video version of the ACFCS Financial Crimecast, Stephen Taylor, the General Manager of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) for compliance technology leader NICE Actimize, discusses tips and tricks to bolster program effectiveness – from the perspective of complex systems and analyst training.

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Predicting the Future of AML by Understanding Its Past: Shifting from Reactive to Proactive AML

In this entertaining podcast, Sean Ryan, Feedzai’s Head of Financial Crime Solutions for APAC, joins Brian Monroe, VP of Content and Financial Crime Compliance for ACFCS, to give us an AML history lesson like never before. They’re also predicting the future of AML compliance and dishing on why – after years of the financial services industry talking about embracing a “holistic” approach to AML and fraud – technology has finally progressed enough to make it a reality.

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The Front Lines - The Investigations Series, The Importance of Leadership in a Complaince Program

Here, ACFCS will discuss issues that directly affect your everyday work life, with the goal of offering practical, tactical takeaways that can immediately help you think differently, analyze more fully and act and react more quickly looking at historical and emerging challenges through the lens of an experienced investigator.

CONTRIBUTION REPORT

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ACFCS Exclusive Contribution Report: Wolfsberg Guidance on Customer Lifecycle Risk Management and Identity Verification - Virtual onboarding resurgence requires compliance convergence, deep dive on deepfakes

NICE Actimize AML Director, Ted Sausen, tackles a weighty new report by banking powerhouse, The Wolfsberg Group, which offers insight on the fincrime compliance opportunities and challenges in going fully digital when onboarding customers.

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ACFCS Exclusive Contribution Report: Lack of system tuning, human training leads to cascade of low grades, unsustainable system alert backlogs, missed deadlines in $140 million USAA AML Penalty

The $140 million penalty levied by U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for anti-money laundering failings at USAA has a host of lessons for the compliance community, essentially being a roadmap to evade systems, technology and human training pitfalls.

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ACFCS Special Contributor Report: It Starts with Art - NFTs, money laundering and terrorist financing

The United States Department of the Treasury’s recent publication of its “Study of the Facilitation of Money Laundering and Terror Finance Through the Trade in Works of Art” did more than just turn attention to the art market. It introduced the ‘emerging digital art market,’ and for the first time, opened up serious attention at the government level on NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) from a money laundering and terrorist financing perspective.

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Special ACFCS Contributor Report: AFC 2021 Lookback - Banks managed rising criminal, reputational risks in historic leaks, social media scams, cyber-enabled fraud soared, fueled by crypto paydays

In this special contributor report, Scotiabank fincrime compliance professional Ahsan Habib looks back at a tumultuous and pandemic-pocked 2021, reviewing the perennial battle of criminals who want to generate illicit income and fincrime compliance teams working to stop them.

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Special ACFCS Contributor Op-Ed: Lessons from Theranos - Culture, board responsibility and accountability: When Will We Learn?

As the accusations and charges pile up against Elizabeth Holmes, the former head of high-flying biomedical firm Theranos, in her widely-watched trial, some also see another pillar of the company that was irrevocably cracked.

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ACFCS Cryptocrime Workshop Takeaways Day Two: With crypto value surge, pandemic scams, ransomware attacks, more banks, exchanges reporting on aberrant activity

In this piece, the team at AI-technology innovator Symphony AyasdiAI looks at recent updates of U.S. anti-money laundering rules and questions if the country is still keeping pace with growing criminal laundering threats, and the activities generating them, like drug and human trafficking.

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ACFCS Special Contributor Report for Cybersecurity Awareness Month: If it's phishy, don't take the bait - Basic safety measures against phishing emails

If 2020 was the year of the coronavirus pandemic, so far 2021 has been infected by a different viral scourge: ransomware – with a bevy of high-profile attacks on an energy pipeline, meat processor and even piggybacking off of an IT infrastructure software firm to infiltrate thousands of organizations.

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ACFCS Exclusive Contributor Report: The Corporate Transparency Act Introduces Beneficial Ownership Disclosure Requirement for Investment Funds

A just-passed piece of legislation crafted to bolster countercrime defenses and crack open beneficial ownership bastions, a historical haven for criminals of all stripes, has lesser-known tethers for certain segments of the investment sector – a critical pitfall that should not be lost on compliance teams. 

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ASpecial ACFCS Exclusive Contributor Report: Biden and Crypto and Bears, De-Fi! - A journey to the past to glimpsethe future, when disruption, regulation, politics and compliance converge

In this special exclusive ACFCS contributor report, Kerry McInerney, an adjunct professor of law and director of graduate programs at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, takes a look at the geopolitical, historical and financial forces at play that shaped many of the biggest changes in finance and regulation in recent decades.

 

CRYPTO

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With SEC criticizing crypto sector, exchanges, intermediaries for lack of compliance, registration, AML risks for banks holding accounts

Most crypto coins are securities. Virtual value exchanges are basically securities trading platforms. The individuals involved in trading and promoting coins are equivalent to the roles performed by broker dealers and their interspersed, attenuated intermediaries.

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Banking's Future in the Crypto-sphere

Despite recent market disruption and lingering fraud risks, crypto remains an increasingly popular alternative to traditional banking for many. Around 22 percent of American adults have invested in, traded or used cryptocurrencies. As it continues to grow in popularity, crypto has the potential to greatly affect the relevance of fiat cash… which in turn would greatly affect traditional bank stability.

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CrypTech Writings: Lawmakers unveil landmark crypto oversight bill with SEC, CFTC splitting regulatory duties, key focus on AML, sanctions, cyber defense

In our latest installment of the series, key thought leaders in fincrime compliance regulatory oversight, crypto data analytics and enforcement analyze what lawmakers are calling a landmark bill create a complete regulatory framework for digital assets.

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CrypTech Writings: DOJ indicts former employee of NFT marketplace OpenSea with insider trading in first ever such charge tied to digital assets

In our latest installment of the series, some of the sharpest minds in the fields of financial crime compliance, crypto data analytics, investigations and enforcement hold court in a seminal case that could give more concrete shape and legal boundaries to the ethereal and intangible world of digital asset trading: NFTs.

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CrypTech Writings: EU regulators offer detailed parameters for ‘serious’ AML breaches that could result in the loss of a banking, MSB or crypto exchange license

This session’s insights on a must-read report from several top EU regulatory bodies comes from the prolific and proficient Ari Redbord, Head of Legal and Government Affairs at TRM Labs, the blockchain intelligence company.

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Emerging Risks Interview Series: Decentralized Fundraising – From Canada to Russia

In ACFCS’s Emerging Risks series, we sit down with Stephen Sargeant, Founder and Chief Web3 and Airdropd, Inc, to explore the role that decentralized fundraising has played within recent international events, from the Trucker Convoy in Canada to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Crypto Compliance for 2022 and Beyond

The crypto industry has exploded over the past few years, further integrating into the global financial system and creating direct and indirect links to banks and other financial institutions. The intersection of the fiat and crypto financial worlds offers vast opportunities, as well as new compliance challenges.

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ACFCS ‘Don’t Be Spooked by Crypto Workshop’ Takeaways: As crypto transactions soar into trillions of dollars, risks rise for bank AML oversight, more customers could be exchanges in disguise

ACFCS this week capped its official two-day “Don’t Be Spooked by Crypto Workshop,” where top thought leaders in the public and private sectors offered critical insight on criminal trends, regulatory focal points and vulnerabilities that could victimize virtual exchanges and banks.

CYBERSECURITY

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ACFCS Cryptocrime Workshop Takeaways Day Two: With crypto value surge, pandemic scams, ransomware attacks, more banks, exchanges reporting on aberrant activity

The coronavirus pandemic has complicated financial crime compliance in a bevy of areas, including countering cyber-fraud and a related surge in hack attacks.

FINCRIME

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Why Case Management is so Important for Financial Crime Investigations

With the acceleration of payments and digital finance, financial services are speeding up, but fraudsters are keeping the pace. As financial institutions grapple with faster fraud, slow-moving and manual investigative processes and a lack of real-time data are key sticking points. Are fraud case management systems moving at the speed of fraud?

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The Double-Edge Sword of Mobile Banking

Adoption of mobile banking was already accelerating prior to the pandemic, but the disruption emerging from the onset of COVID-19 has put the pedal to the metal. For younger generations, mobile-first banking is increasingly the norm, with Gen-Z favoring the mobile channel at 56%.

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The Building Blocks of Perpetual KYC - AI-Driven Name Science, OSINT, and More

Some try to navigate life without being accountable for a decision. Yet decision-making – about customers, transactions, and behaviors – is at the heart of the risk-based approach, and financial crime compliance professionals are asked to make dozens or hundreds of decisions a day.

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Last Month Today: SEC, FATF criticize crypto, U.S., EU tick sanctions higher against Russian banks, oligarchs, vessels, vodka, BVI head arrested, and more

In this monthly wrap-up, we took a look at the surging sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine and the historic, global response by the U.S., Europe, United Kingdom and other countries, along with other virtual value enforcement and oversight trends.

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Fincrime Briefing: FinCEN AML compliance innovation update, OFAC ‘U-turn’ on Cuba, ACFCS Scholarship Spotlight, and more

Why detect and prevent financial crime? It may seem like a self-evident question, but it’s one with many possible answers. There’s an obvious response – because the law requires it – but there are other compelling answers too.

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Risk and Russia – What Are We Missing?

In ACFCS’s Emerging Risks series, we sit down with Ross Delston attorney and expert witness, to shed light on the issues that have NOT been widely discussed in regard to Russia and the global financial industry, to include geographic, credit, and operational risk.

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In new U.S. crypto executive order, tethers to fincrime compliance, global investigations, sanctions busting, cyber-fraud – and potential preview of digital dollar dominance

The Biden Administration on Wednesday issued a long-awaited executive order charting the course of virtual value oversight, regulatory approaches and implementation in the United States – a seminal initiative with a host of tethers to the global fight against financial crime in the fiat and digital worlds.

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As Russia formally invades Ukraine, sanctions, AML, cyber risks soar in cascade of global condemnation, uproar

After weeks of bluster and saber rattling – and ignoring a cacophony of threats, formal sanctions and condemnations from world leaders – Russia invaded Ukraine Thursday, causing shockwaves in geopolitical, energy and finance markets.

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‘Those Darkest Hours’: The Future of National Security with Jim Dinkins

From the financial flows behind the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to the modern focus on state-sponsored cybercrime, financial crime has become inextricably linked to national security over the last 20 years.

FRAUD

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Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2022: ACFCS highlights tips to counter fraudsters targeting country’s most vulnerable, aging population

June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month, and June 15 is Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The designation meant to highlight the ongoing criminal tactics targeting one of the world’s most vulnerable populations, and better sensitize financial crime compliance professionals, law enforcement and caregivers about an issue growing in scope.

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The Next Wave of Identity Risk: Changes to Identity Verification

Fraud and financial crime professionals, brace for impact: 2021 was a record-breaking year for data breaches. Identity fraud inevitably follows data breaches, meaning financial crime specialists need to be ready for the next big wave of identity theft and risk.

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Fraud at Home? Managing Insider Fraud Risk in the Work-From-Home Era

Working from home during the pandemic has been a boon for many employees, a bother to others, and a disruption for almost all. With disruption inevitably comes opportunities for fraud and financial crime, and work-from-home has opened new doors for internal fraud risks.

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The Fraud State of the Union for 2021 – Key Trends and What’s Next

For financial criminals of all stripes, the proverbial state of the union is strong in 2021. The digital acceleration triggered by the pandemic, massive fraud schemes targeting government relief programs, and the faster adoption of real-time payments have all created huge opportunities for savvy fraudsters, in the US and internationally.

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The New Synthetic Identity Landscape – More is More for Fraud Programs?

Amid the wider sea of fraudulent activity during the pandemic, synthetic identity fraud has hit financial institutions in a particularly violent wave. Though it’s hardly a new phenomenon, the use of synthetics has exacerbated many other fraud trends in the US, from unemployment fraud to pandemic relief scams and much more.

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Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2021: ACFCS highlights tips, tactics to counter fraudsters, scammers targeting country’s most vulnerable group

June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month, and June 15 is Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The designation meant to highlight the ongoing criminal tactics targeting one of the world’s most vulnerable populations, and better sensitize financial crime compliance professionals, law enforcement and caregivers about an issue growing in scope.

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What Covid-19 Taught Us About Fraud and Money Laundering

For most of the financial crime compliance world, the past 18 months have been a long, strange trip, one marked by disruption and confusion, but also innovation and adaptation.

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ACFCS Announces New Focus on Cyber-Enabled Fraud and Cybercrime

During pandemic lockdowns, national and state governments pumped money into economic relief programs with remarkable speed, and fraudsters moved nearly as fast to exploit the same programs for breathtaking ill-gotten gains.

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My bloody Valentine: Romance scams in 2020 soared to record more than $300 million in losses, up 50 percent from pre-pandemic 2019: FTC

Fueled by more people working from home and missing out on genuine human contact and a jump in lonely hearts looking for love on social media and dating apps, romance scams reached a record $304 million in losses.

HUMAN TRAFFIC

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The Front Lines – The Investigations Series: Human Trafficking Detection from the Russia-Ukraine War

Here, ACFCS will discuss issues that directly affect your everyday work life, with the goal of offering practical, tactical takeaways that can immediately help you think differently, analyze more fully and act and react more quickly looking at historical and emerging challenges through the lens of an experienced investigator.

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Emerging Risks Interview Series: Human trafficking, brothels and laundering models, unique red flags from Latin America to Asia

In today’s ACFCS Fincrime Briefing, FinCEN fincrime compliance innovation update, OFAC makes U-turn on U-turn transactions as sanctions tighten on Cuba, ACFCS Human Trafficking Scholarship Spotlight, and more.

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Emerging Risks Interview Series: Ukraine and Human Trafficking

In ACFCS’s Emerging Risks series, we sit down with Timea Nagy, Founder and CEO of Timea’s Cause, to update the fincrime community regarding intelligence gathered on the current state of human trafficking (HT) along the western borders of Ukraine.

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FCC Training Corner: Tackling Human Trafficking – Boosting investigative skills, enhancing compliance knowledge, effectiveness in rules, roles, results

In this new initiative, ACFCS is focusing on the how key skills, roles and training could be strengthened or updated to better counter emerging or perennial fincrime compliance challenges, in this case, we are focusing on human trafficking.

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In R. Kelly conviction, a victory for victims, with tethers to tackling trafficking, lessons for fincrime compliance teams

With a jury this week convicting the once high-flying rhythm and blues star R. Kelly on charges he exploited his celebrity status for decades to lure women – many of them underage girls – into his clutches to manipulate and sexually assault them, his fall from grace is complete.

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World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2021: ACFCS offers key tips, tactics, resources to counter criminals, empower fincrime compliance teams

World Day against Trafficking in Persons is held on July 30th each year, an annual event to bring awareness to a crime generating massive revenues for organized criminal groups and growing in importance for bank fincrime compliance teams to stop.

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Special ATII Report – How Human Traffickers Exploit International Economics: Cryptocurrencies, Banks, and Credit Cards (Part 2 of 4)

In this second piece in a four-part series by the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII), the group tackles how criminal groups exploit the gaps between, in and around brick-and-mortar banks, crypto and credit cards.

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Special ATII Exclusive Report: How Human Traffickers Exploit International Economics: Underground Banking and Cash Movement (Part 1 of 4)

In this first piece in a four-part series by the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII), a non-profit focused on helping the public and private sectors better fight the soaring scourge of monetizing human misery, slavery and desperation, the group tackles how criminal groups exploit underground banking channels.

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Top tips, tricks to detect red flags of human trafficking in your fincrime compliance program, including inconsistent income, frequent CC, booking cancellations

While many sports fans were preparing for an anticipated epic duel in Super Bowl LV between an aging legendary gunslinger and a young gun with a cannon for an arm, by grilling dogs and burgers, human trafficking groups were cooking up much more sinister machinations: profiting off of skin and misery.

KYC

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The Future of Banking: Onboarding Customers You’ll Never Meet

Before the pandemic, banks were slowly embracing innovation and integrating new technologies. But that gradual, comfortable pace was upended by the pandemic. Banks were forced to shutter branches, while never-digital customers shifted to digital-first behaviors.

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Financial CrimeCast: KYC Transformation – From Dream to Reality, Part One

Part 1 of a two-part series examining KYC transformation through automation, in conversation with Dalbir Sahota, VP of Bankers Almanac: Financial Counterparty KYC with Accuity. Listen to Part 2 here.

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

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ACFCS Member Spotlight: For BottomLine's Dalit's Amitai, fighting fraud, bolstering compliance defences is an 'all in' effort to better harness techonology empower teams, thwart creative criminals

Dalit Amitai knows that criminals, whether they are cyber hackers, fraudsters or money launderers, are infinitely creative – always looking for a way to breach systems, steal from customers or cleanse sullied funds through an institution.

 

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ACFCS Member Spotlight: For Sayari's Jessica Abell, unasked question leads to quest to better uncover illicit finance by bridging divide between investigations, intelligence, rising data capacity vs. eduring corporate opacity

For Jessica Abell, the irony doesn’t escape her that her career thus far has been a quest to answer the question: are certain actions, transactions and reactions to geopolitical power dynamics by a given entity a threat to national security. 

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ACFCS Member Spotlight: For PwC's Vikas Agarwal, advice to 'choose the harder right than easier wrong' has fueled convergent stratagem, drive to master AML tech, training, auditing, data divination, cyber disciplines

For Vikas Agarwal, even decades ago, he seemed predestined to become a fincrime fighter and compliance champion – even though he didn’t know it yet. But looking back, there were early signs. A gift with numbers. At ease with deconstructing data. Being able to pull back and see what it all means.

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ACFCS Member Spotlight: For NICE Actimize's Adam McLaughlin, fincrime fight has turned from kicking down doors as London cop to busting down silos as compliance tech titan

NICE Actimize’s Adam McLaughlin, a self-proclaimed “adrenaline junkie,” is just as comfortable throwing himself headlong into the abyss – and the unknown – in the real world as he is leaping into the cavernous maw of a beastly compliance technology challenge in a virtual realm.

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ACFCS Member Spotlight: For Dharm Patel, VP and General Manager of Fraud and Financial Crime at Fiserv, improving emotional intelligence can fuel team passion, compliance success

Dharm Patel’s career has been mainly focused on the challenges of better capturing, analyzing and wielding data, first to stop fraudsters and scammers and more recently, to buttress anti-money laundering compliance.

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For Elliptic’s Stelios Tachtatzis, a picture is worth more than a thousand words – particularly when it can reveal criminals using virtual value to monetize illicit hauls

Stelios Tachtatzis is one of the rare figures in the financial crime and compliance space who has taken a truly expansive and convergent mindset to strengthen compliance and fight financial crime.

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ACFCS Member Spotlight: The secrets to success for Jumio’s Craig Fetterman? Treat those under you like they were your boss, continually broaden knowledge, network

When Craig Fetterman finally got a chance to manage others in the compliance field, he made sure not to let it go to his head. Rather than trying to institute an authoritarian regime, he took a decidedly different tack, guided by a simple but powerful philosophy: “Treat people who work for you as if they were your boss.”

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For Jim Dinkins, president of Thomson Reuters Special Services, persistence, disproving doubters a hallmark of 30 years in federal law enforcement, compliance

James “Jim” Dinkins has made a career out of fighting financial crime in all of its forms over more than 30 years – at the forefront of the intersection of national security, border security, organized crime, narco trafficking, global trade and terrorist financing.

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For Refinitiv’s Phil Cotter, jump from distilling information to divining fincrime risk, protecting the vulnerable, the ‘highlight of my career’

For Phil Cotter, the choice to jump into the fincrime compliance field boiled down to career advice he got more than 20 years ago: forget titles and salaries. Ask yourself what will you be doing everyday? Who will you be helping and how?

REGIONAL REPORT

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Regional Report – Europe: In aggressive AML overhaul, EU unsheathes new fincrime compliance authority, stronger rules to illumine crypto, stamp out ownership opacity

In expansive European Union anti-money laundering update, some big changes to improve fight against financial crime, including a compliance super regulator that can pressure large, international banks – and member state regulators, a ban on anonymous crypto wallets and a limit of paying more than 10,000 euros in cash, for anything.

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Regional Report – Netherlands: One of country’s largest banks, ABN Amro, pays nearly $600 million penalty for longstanding AML failings, lax risk ranking, missed reports on suspicious activity

Dutch authorities have hit the third largest bank in the Netherlands with a penalty of more than a half a billion dollars for longstanding failings in nearly every area of its fincrime compliance program, including lax customer risk scoring, shoddy alert investigations and missed reports of potential suspicious activity.

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Regional Report: As EU works to bolster AML across bloc in compliance offensive, gets defensive on blacklists, overlapping directives

European authorities are starting 2021 with a naming and shaming offensive against member countries not transposing compliance directives quickly enough, while at the same time getting defensive about the politics and methodologies for listing regions outside the bloc for perceived fincrime failings.

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Regional Report: Canada has done ‘amazing things’ to fight crime through public-private partnerships, but still hampered by stringent privacy rules, lack of AML safe harbors

In recent years, Canada has done “amazing things” in the arena of stronger information sharing between regulators, banks and law enforcement to target some of the most insidious financial crimes of our times, including human trafficking, which became a global model to help other regions.

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Regional Report: In face of massive EU AML scandals, prosecutors, regulators, banks looking to bolster information sharing, accountability, liability

In this regional report focusing on Europe, the ACFCS Netherlands Chapter looks at some of the EU AML scandals and issues in and out of banks that can make compliance difficult.

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Regional Report Canada: As gun-shy Fintrac regains penalty powers, government strengthens AML, will enforcement rise?

Over the last year, Canada has been bolstering AML across the board with stronger rules targeting riskier sectors like virtual currencies, cracking open beneficial ownership bastions and boosting budgets for investigators.

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Regional Report: Australia – In game of brinksmanship, Austrac doubles down on hefty AML penalty fight against beleaguered, but not broken, Westpac

As some regulators pull back and buckle down during the COVID-19 global pandemic, Australia’s top fincrime compliance enforcement body is taking a different approach.

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Regional Report – Europe: Fraud, cybercrime, surging now, AML must later look for launderers hiding in economic recovery, volatility

Europe is firmly in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Spain, Italy, France and Germany among the top 10 in countries with the most total cases at more than 750,000 combined – still less than the United States at some 1.1 million.

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Regional Report – Asia: India struggles on outsourced AML, Hong Kong fraudsters impersonate banks, Japan regulator reduces onsite exams

In this regional snapshot, Asia is in the spotlight, reviewing how several key powers have worked to counter a global pandemic while not losing ground to criminals, fraudsters and cyber hackers.

SANCTIONS

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Sanctions Screening: Going Beyond the Lists

We’re now eight months into the year, and sanctions imposed on Russian entities and individuals have continued at a brisk pace. In just the past two weeks, the US has imposed a raft of new sanctions on oligarchs and suspected associates of Russia president Vladmir Putin, while the EU has targeted a number of individuals and the Russian gold sector. The impacts on financial institutions continue to be wide-ranging and substantial, from transaction monitoring to business operations and services.

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The Inside Track: In new action against bank, OFAC eschews fine in favor of teachable moment on expectations around sanctions screening timing, updates, vendor rules, roles, risks

A new enforcement action from the sanctions arm of the U.S. government has offered rare insight into the expectations around how quickly operations must update their internal or vendor-driven screening programs when new designations come out.

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The View from the Top: Sanctions Response 2022 – A Guide to Leveraging Your Own Data to Mitigate Risks Following the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Longtime fincrime compliance thought leader Rob Loh, Senior Director at Huron, offers a deep and detailed analysis of key tactics financial institutions and corporates more broadly can use to gauge how blacklisted groups and entities on sanctions lists have touched their operations.

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Scaling Sanctions Programs Without Increasing Compliance Spend – Is It Possible?

Implementing these new sanctions programs, and dealing with the ever increasing volumes of sanctions alerts that come with these new programs, can have huge repercussions for businesses who aren’t equipped to deal with this new normal.

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Emerging Risks Interview Series: It’s more than just Sanctions – A Chief AML Officer’s perspective

The crisis in Ukraine has brought strict sanctions on Russia, and financial institutions must move quickly to implement them.

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Last Month Today: Sanctions continue ratcheting higher as Russia continues Ukraine war with U.S., EU, U.K. targeting powerful oligarchs, ritzy assets, and more

In this monthly wrap-up, we took a look at the surging sanctions against Russia or invading Ukraine and the historic, global response by the U.S., Europe, United Kingdom and other countries.

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The Inside Track: Decisions, Implications and Humans – A Thank you from the trenches to the frontline fincrime sanctions fighters, from veteran industry thought leader Jon Elvin

In all, fincrime compliance professionals take their respective roles to help safeguard national security, be a strong referral source for law enforcement and protect customers, communities and the integrity of the brand of their organizations, very seriously.

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Can European Union Sanctions Stop Russia?

In ACFCS’s Emerging Risks series, we sit down with Constantine David Allen, Fraud Risk Assessor for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, to explore a critically important question in the financial crime arena – can EU’s recent targeted sanctions against Russian entities and oligarchs slow the movement of funds fueling this invasion into Ukraine?

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Last Month Today: Sanctions soar as Russia invades Ukraine, with U.S., EU, U.K. banding together in global coalition, and more

In this monthly wrap-up, we took a look at the surging sanctions against Russia or invading Ukraine and the historic, global response by the U.S., Europe, United Kingdom and other countries.

SCHOLARSHIP SPOTLIGHT

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Scholarships for Cybercrime Focus – 2021

ACFCS is offering ten (10) complimentary CFCS certification packages to cyber-enabled crime fighters - fincrime professionals who have stepped forward to confront the epidemic of cybercrime and cyber-enabled fraud wrought by the pandemic.

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ACFCS announces recipients of certification scholarships for ‘Agents of Resiliency’

The global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has led to historic disruption in business, finance, and daily life. Yet financial crime has hardly slowed down, and the confusion engendered by COVID-19 has been ripe breeding ground for fraudsters, cyberattacks and scammers.

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Scholarship Spotlight: Countering human trafficking takes combination of learning criminal patterns, sharing knowledge, helping survivors rebuild, says Emily Bejarano

One of the winners of the ACFCS certification scholarship for fincrime professionals fighting human trafficking shares what drives her in this mission to thwart criminal groups through follow-the-money sleuthing and directly helping victims and survivors rebuild one-on-one.

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ACFCS announces recipients of certification scholarships for professionals in sanctions

Facing conflict with North Korea and Iran, tension with Russia, and threats from transnational organized crime, governments around the world have increasingly relied on the same policy tool: sanctions. The result is a complex, high-stakes outlook for sanctions compliance.

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ACFCS Scholarship Spotlight: In quest to counter cypto crime, Amr Rashed works to build capacity, share understanding on how launderers, terror groups game virtual value

Amr Rashed deeply understands the duality of the nascent but burgeoning cryptocurrency sector.

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ACFCS announces recipients of certification scholarships for professionals in crypto roles

In the financial crime arena, few topics have generated as much concern and confusion in recent years as cryptocurrencies.

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Scholarship Spotlight: Three ‘Ps’ propel Festus Aisagbonhi in fight against human trafficking – Prevention, protection, prosecution

Festus Aisagbonhi knows that one of the greatest allies for criminals is when people – whether they are compliance professionals, investigators and even potential victims – don’t even understand the crime, or know the underlying human and financial red flags.

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Scholarship Spotlight: Stronger bank information sharing, public-private partnerships key to countering human trafficking, says Rosie McWhorter

Trying to counter a crime as complex and nuanced as human trafficking – with criminal networks in recent years more aggressively weaving transactions in crypto coins and dispersing them through seemingly unconnected credit and prepaid cards and bank accounts – is a team effort, says Rosie McWhorter.

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Scholarship Spotlight: Focus on victim protection, rather than prosecution, critical to building human trafficking cases, says Joseph Scaramucci

For Joseph Scaramucci, taking down criminals, following the money and saving victims is why he got into law enforcement in the first place more than 15 years ago – a calling that has in recent years become a mission to tackle the soaring scourge of human trafficking and change the focus of investigations from prosecuting victims to protecting them.

See What Certified Financial Crime Specialists Are Saying

"The CFCS tests the skills necessary to fight financial crime. It's comprehensive. Passing it should be considered a mark of high achievement, distinguishing qualified experts in this growing specialty area."

KENNETH E. BARDEN 

(JD, Washington)

"It's a vigorous exam. Anyone passing it should have a great sense of achievement."

DANIEL DWAIN

(CFCS, Official Superior

de Cumplimiento Cidel

Bank & Trust Inc. Nueva York)

"The exam tests one's ability to apply concepts in practical scenarios. Passing it can be a great asset for professionals in the converging disciplines of financial crime."

MORRIS GUY

(CFCS, Royal Band of

Canada, Montreal)

"The Exam is far-reaching. I love that the questions are scenario based. I recommend it to anyone in the financial crime detection and prevention profession."

BECKI LAPORTE

(CFCS, CAMS Lead Compliance

Trainer, FINRA, Member Regulation

Training, Washington, DC)

"This certification comes at a very ripe time. Professionals can no longer get away with having siloed knowledge. Compliance is all-encompassing and enterprise-driven."

KATYA HIROSE
CFCS, CAMS, CFE, CSAR
Director, Global Risk
& Investigation Practice
FTI Consulting, Los Angeles

READY TO BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY TOWARDS
CFCS CERTIFICATION?