Connect with a community show shares your passions for fighting Fincrime
Connect with a community show shares your passions for fighting Fincrime
The Chapter Board
Bob Kapur (Co-Chair) is an independent AML/ATF consultant, with over 20 years of experience in the industry.
For most of this time, he was the Deputy Chief AML Officer at a Big 5 Canadian bank, and was responsible for all aspects of the global AML, ATF, and Sanctions program, including policy development, risk assessments, investigations, effectiveness testing, training, enhanced due diligence and high risk client management, and board and regulatory reporting.
He was also the bank’s representative on numerous industry and government committees and was the private-sector leader of Project Guardian, the public-private initiative with FINTRAC that targets illegal fentanyl trafficking.
Before joining the bank, Bob was the forensic accountant for the Ontario Provincial Police, where he worked on numerous proceeds of crime investigations for the Anti-Rackets, Health Fraud, and Integrated Proceeds of Crime divisions.
Since 2019, Bob has been an independent consultant specializing in AML/ATF and Sanctions compliance within the financial services sector.
Andres Betancourt (Programming Director) has over 10 years of experience in Compliance and AML working within the financial services industry with major financial institutions and consulting firms. He worked on internal audit reviews, anti-money laundering and fraud investigations, oversight and testing, quality assurance audits, compliance effectiveness reviews, policy interpretation and regulatory reporting during several years. Andres is a Certified AML Specialist, Certified Financial Crime Specialist, Certified Blockchain Expert, Certified Cryptocurrency Investigator, member of the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators and holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University, Liberal Arts Program from Seneca College and holds an Oxford Executive Leadership Programme from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and Project Management certification from Cornell University.
Andres works in the Global AML Audit Centre of Excellence for Scotiabank, which assess the design and operational effectiveness of internal controls. This also includes adherence to bank policies and regulatory requirements, particularly those related to AML, anti-terrorist financing (ATF) and sanctions risk management.
Throughout his career, Andres worked with different financial institutions and advisory firms on regulatory compliance effectiveness reviews of reporting entities with operation hubs in multiple jurisdictions including Canada, the United Kingdom, U.S. and Australia. He also worked on AML and fraud investigations, FINTRAC reporting, regulatory AML remediations, quality assurance program design and testing, compliance training and strategy, Centre of Excellence processes and AML internal control audits. Recently, Andres led and participated in centralized audits for AML Program governance, regulatory reporting (LCTR/EFTR), sanctions screening for 2nd Line functions, Trade Finance Canada & Mexico, Global AML Transformation initiative and international banking regulatory audit reports (Colombia, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Caribbean, Cayman, TCI, Uruguay and Central America).
Melanie Lefebvre (Programming Director) is an Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Investigator and consultant with a specialization in virtual assets and blockchain technology. She currently consults as an independent contractor for Bitfinex one of the world’s largest Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) and has previously held roles with other regulated VASPs and money service businesses.
Within this specialised field, she has assisted in building comprehensive Canadian, European and United States based AML compliance programs and risk assessments, while leading both self-assessments and regulatory audits.
Melanie actively creates and teaches educational content focused on virtual assets and its AML application to public audiences, educational institutions, and companies. She is a frequent speaker on this subject, notably with Seneca College, the Canadian Institute for Financial Crime Analysis, Provincial and Federal Law Enforcement, the Toronto Compliance & AML Events, among others.
She has written several articles that included analyzing popular fraud techniques used in the virtual asset industry, and that assessed the risks of new and existing blockchain technology, which includes the article “The Lightning Network – Deconstructed and Evaluated”, published by ACFCS.
She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), as well as a Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP).
Robert Osbourne (Programming Director) is a certified AML specialist supporting the National AML Services team at Grant Thornton.
With over 20 years in the financial services industry, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role within Grant Thornton and to his many FINTRAC-regulated clients. Robert has a strong focus on money service businesses, and has worked with MSBs in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia; from developing Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financial policies and procedures, to performing effectiveness reviews, to building training programs.
As an AML subject matter expert, he has participated in many AML conferences, seminars and webinars as a speaker or panelist.
Diana Arreluce (Event Coordinator) is a Senior AML Analyst with Scotiabank in Canada. Diana was born and raised in Lima, Peru, but came to the United States to complete her higher education studies. Diana obtained a B.A. in economics and international studies in 2008 from the University at Buffalo located in New York.
After graduation she moved back to Peru, where she worked for her family’s company prior to starting her work with ASR in 2010. ASR is a subcontractor of the WoldCompliance (WCo) division of LexisNexis Risk Solutions (LNRS).
Diana was first introduced to compliance during her employment with ASR. Through her work with ASR she became familiar with a wide variety of financial crimes, sanctions, and international regulations including most Latin American AML and PEP regulations. During her last year with ASR, Diana was promoted to Operations Manager where she oversaw a team of 40.
Diana completed the Financial Services Compliance Administration program (FCA) through Seneca College.
Fnan Desta (Event Coordinator) oversees the operational effectiveness of the Transaction Monitoring Team (Investigations Team) servicing the Personal, Commercial, Wealth Management and Global Asset Management lines of business in Canada. He leads a team responsible for adjudicating, investigating and reporting on Strategic Transaction Monitoring Alerts, Unusual Activity Reports, Production Orders, Cross-Border Investigations & Correspondent Banking Investigations.
He is the Co-Chair of BMO’s Enterprise Transaction Monitoring Working Group with oversight on Canada, Europe & Asia and across all operating groups (Personal, Commercial, Capital Markets & Wealth Management). He is a member of and AML Liaison to BMO’s Financial Crime Unit Fusion Centre.
Fnan led “Project Shine”, an initiative at BMO in 2013 aimed at professionalizing the FIU in transforming to one of the best in class AML shops on Bay Street.
Prior to joining the FIU, Fnan held various roles in the personal and commercial banking division at BMO.
Gajalakshmi Balakrishnan (Event Coordinator) is a founder of GB&LN Inc. with over a decade of experience in Financial Crime Prevention particularly in Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing (ML/TF). Gaja’s vision is to improve financial crime detection and prevention by sharing best practices and leveraging skills across fields.
Being a techno-function AML enthusiast, she has been instrumental in bringing together a community of people – for building an active AML & Compliance Community online, from around the world.
She continues to exploit multiple platforms through various initiatives, shares articles with the dual objective of keeping the AML discourse “active and zealous” and building a robust knowledge repository.
She holds a master’s degree in Human Resource management and is a certified Scrum Master. Gaja is currently pursuing the ACFCS and ACAMS certifications.
As a Consultant at Matrix-IFS, Canada, she has been supporting the organization’s growth, innovation, and customer-centric objectives and has developed a thorough understanding of the Canadian AML regime.
Gaja started her career as a Software Developer at INFOSYS (India) working for clients like Bank of America and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Her exceptional communication skills, continued enthusiasm and relentless perseverance has been some of her greatest strengths. She is a member of the Toronto ACAMS Study Group, active collaborator and provides mentorship to new field entrants.
For her, connecting and engaging people from various Financial Crime and AML backgrounds has become a significant part of her professional life.
Ramzi Bou Hamdan
Ramzi Bou Hamdan (Membership Director) is a Senior Manager in EY’s Toronto Financial Service Risk Management Group leading the Financial Crime Advisory practice in Canada. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Financial Crime Specialist (CFCS), and a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).
Ramzi boasts 14 years of experience leading teams in Advisory Services and Financial Crimes, specializing in anti-money laudering, fraud, assurance, and advisory services. He focuses on engagements within the financial services industry assisting banks, MSBs, Fintechs and Casinos with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) investigations, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program review and risk assessment, and Bribery and Corruption matters. Ramzi is a capabale and high-energy leader, with a strong track record of achieving high-quality team results while developing each individual team member.
His experience includes developing methodology and approaches for AML end to end program assessment and remediation for global financial institutions. In addition, to extensive experience in AML risk and program assessment for major global MSBs, Fintechs, Casinos (including E-gaming) and Racetracks in the U.S. and Canada. Ramzi has performed AML Risk Assessment and program review and remediation for multiple global financial institutions, casinos and securities dealers, and assisted in look-back reviews of a global financial institution’s Suspicious Activity Report filings.
In addition, Ramzi has worked on multinational FCPA review projects, fraud investigations, foreclosure reviews, anti-bribery and anti-corruption analytics, and business intelligence and IT.
Marc Cocorocchio (Communications Director) holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Management, from York University, and a Diploma in Human Resources Management, from Seneca College. Since graduation, while building a career in the Canadian financial sector, Marc has continued his studies and has obtained multiple designations, CFCS, CAMS and CIPP/C. In April 2020, he completed the Regulatory Compliance and Legal Risk Management for Financial Institutions certificate program, from Osgoode Hall Law School, at York University. Presently, Marc is an active member of the Downtown Toronto Toastmasters Club, to further develop his communication and leadership skills.
From a career point of view, since 2005, Marc has held increasingly demanding positions within a number of banking institutions. During this period, he has developed a thorough understanding of the Canadian financial sector. He began his Compliance career at TD Canada Trust in 2012, as a Compliance Officer. In 2016, after more than ten years at TD Canada Trust, Marc decided to leave TD, to take a position with the Home Trust Company, as an AML Advisory Manager. A year later, he accepted a position at the Wells Fargo Bank, Toronto office, as a Financial Crimes Consultant. In this role, Marc advised on the Canada and Latin America business of Anti-Bribery and Corruption Legislation. Within the first six months at Wells Fargo, Marc saw his mandate transition from an advisory to a governance role. He thus played a key role in the implementation of Financial Crimes Risk Management relating to KYC, AML, AB&C, and International Sanctions, across the Canada and Latin America businesses.
Since January 2019, Marc has been with Capital One, Canada Branch. He began as Principal Compliance Advisor. His role was to develop and implement two new testing programs for: (first) Evaluating pre-contract due diligence activities for third parties, post-contract third-party reporting, and general compliance with OSFI’s B-10 Guideline, and (second) Identifying and Examining Emerging Risks through the review of: Self-identified Risks, Compliance Testing, Internal Audit Reviews, Regulatory Examinations and Industry Trends. Within the first six months, he was promoted to Manager, and responsible for two direct reports. Most recently, and with the realignment of his team’s organizational structure, Marc was appointed as Test Lead for the four Canada testing programs.
Ruzaan Karwa (Communications Director) has over 12 years of work experience mostly with the banking sector and has earned 11+ awards/accolades with the most recent recognition as the AML Professional of the Month award from the Association for Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) in May 2020.
He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and holds a Financial Compliance Administration degree. He completed a course on Understanding Terrorism and Terror Threat from University of Maryland.
Ruzaan works in Financial Intelligence Unit at Scotiabank where he currently manages a team of Anti Money Laundering investigators. Throughout his AML career, Ruzaan has gained work experience in Transaction Monitoring, Enhanced Due Diligence, Correspondent Banking, Name Screening, Demarket, Corporate Banking, Triage, Complex Case Investigations and Sanctions.
He is passionate in training and mentoring newcomers, students, and foreign professionals to get their foot in the banking doors. He also the founder of AML Enthusiasts and Chief Volunteer Mentor with Visionary Advisory Community that provides training sessions for professionals seeking AML and banking as a career. He is also an active mentor with Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), Acces Employment, Seneca college, Culture Link, Empower International Students, and Helping Other People Succeed.
Paula Labao (Secretary) is currently the Director of the AML Canadian Financial Intelligence unit at BMO Financial Group and has oversight over Transaction Monitoring, High Risk customers, WatchList Management, Capital Markets Transaction Monitoring and EDD, Major Investigations and the Demarket team. She is a Banking professional with 25+ years of experience within the Securities and Banking Industry in various roles with 12+ years dedicated to AML at RBC and BMO and is ACAMS certified.
She is a member of the BMO Alliance for Women, Toronto chapter, BMO Financial Group – A community of employees who champion the inclusion, connection, development, advancement, and support of women for the betterment of BMO’s business, communities, and culture.
She was also the winner of the Community Services Award along with her BMO colleagues for their work in “Project Protect” in partnership with the Toronto Police Services to combat Human Trafficking and is currently involved in the F.A.S.T (Finance against Slavery and Trafficking) initiative. Human trafficking survivors having endured exploitation will find that their traffickers have destroyed their financial identity and the F.A.S.T. Initiative works with financial institutions and survivor support organizations to address these problems and promote financial access to basic banking and re-integration into the financial world.
Aliya Khan (Co-Secretary) has over 15 years of experience in Financial Crimes, including Fraud and AML. She started her career in Financial Crimes at the RBC National Fraud Detection Group. In this role, she was responsible for investigating Online Banking fraud and adjudicating debit card fraud claims pertaining to Account Take-Overs, Friendly Fraud and Elder Abuse. Her strong interest in Financial Crimes led her to RBC’s AML department where she held various roles within investigations. In addition, Aliya presented one of her investigations as a Case Study at the April 2011 ACAMS Conference in Toronto. Aliya also worked in the RBC Global AML Program Governance department where she was responsible for conducting risk-based compliance testing.
Her testing and AML experience led her to a role in the AML and Compliance department at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions “OSFI” of Canada where she gained Canadian regulatory experience. For over three years, Aliya participated in concurrent AML/ATF assessments with FINTRAC at various Federally Regulated Financial Institutions in Canada to ensure their compliance with the PCMLTFA, PCMLTFR and OSFI Guideline B-8.
Aliya currently is employed at BMO Financial Group in AML Compliance where she is responsible for leading and managing various QA reviews and regulatory and non-regulatory Issue Validations.
Aliya is committed to learning about Financial Crimes. She has her CAMS (Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist), CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) and CBP (Certified Bitcoin Professional). In addition, Aliya also completed the Certified Financial Crime Analysis course at Seneca College. She volunteers as a mentor through the TRIEC Mentoring Partnership where she has been mentoring newcomers to Canada on gaining AML experience in Canada and providing them with coaching, when needed.
Giles Dixon (Treasurer) works as a Senior Manager in Grant Thornton Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering and Forensics Practice and brings with him an international consulting and anti-money laundering risk advisory background.
Originally from the U.K., Giles began his consulting career in the City of London, before moving to Toronto in early 2017, where he regularly provides AML and financial crime risk advisory to clients in the financial services industry, including banks, credit unions, and money services businesses including dealers in virtual currency. His experience includes large scale financial crime risk management transformation, AML program design and execution, program management, remediation projects, target operating model design, and process improvement, advising clients at all levels of the organizational hierarchy.
Outside of his client work, Giles can regularly be seen presenting and enjoys writing and publishing thought leadership on the topic of anti-financial crime.
Giles is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, Certified Cryptocurrency Investigator (CCI), and Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP).
Kaylan Olsen (Co-Treasurer) works as a SR AML Project Specialist within the Meridian Group. She is responsible for both Meridian Credit Union and motusbank’s AML regulatory projects and enterprise wide initiatives.
Kaylan was first introduced to the AML field as an Intern for the Italian Ministry of Finance and Economics as part of their Financial Action Task Force (FATF) delegation. The Italian delegation held the Presidency of the FATF at the time and were responsible for finalizing the 2012 FATF Recommendations.
She has experience working with Compliance, EDD, Audit and Quality Assurance teams through 8 years of progressive roles. While at Scotiabank she specialized in the assessment of AML risk controls, KYC procedural methodology, Best Practices training and developing KPI metrics for AML QA. She has also worked as an AML Investigator with the Bank of Montreal’s High Risk Team. She was responsible for ensuring MSB compliance, Enhanced Due Diligence investigations and transactional reporting.
In addition, Kaylan participated in the Transcrime Bownet Project under the guidance of the European Commission DG Home affairs. The project researched and identified barriers to Beneficial Ownership of legal entities across Europe with the end goal of developing an intelligent system for tracking ownership.
Kaylan is a certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and Master of Laws from the Università di Teramo, Italy.
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
"It's a vigorous exam. Anyone passing it should have a great sense of achievement."
(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."
(CFCS, Royal Band of
"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."
(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."
CFCS, CAMS, CFE, CSAR
Director, Global Risk
& Investigation Practice
FTI Consulting, Los Angeles