AML’s Decorated Dozen

For four years now, anti-money laundering (AML) professionals from both the public and private sectors have been nominated and selected to win the ACAMS AML Professional of the Month Award. AML professionals from all over the world are nominated for their leadership, mentorship, knowledge and passion in the AML industry, but they are ultimately recognized for their accomplishments and successes in the AML community. Congratulations to our 2020 winners:

January: Stephen Brent Sargeant, CAMS, CBP

January’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Stephen Brent Sargeant, CAMS, CBP. He was recognized for his experience in the anti-money laundering (AML) field. Sargeant presently works as an AML investigator and law enforcement liaison at industry-leading cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. He has previous AML experience working for HSBC as an AML investigations manager and has acquired many AML and cryptocurrency designations including the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP), Certified Cryptocurrency Forensic Investigator (CCFI) and Certified Cryptocurrency Investigator (CCI).

He is a fintech enthusiast and enjoys learning about bitcoin, blockchain and the future of the financial ecosystem. Passionate about helping others, he has written articles and produced podcasts on LinkedIn for professionals in the financial crime compliance field. He has also collaborated with many industry leaders in creating events for foreign professionals and women in compliance. He is a frequent speaker on blockchain investigations at national AML and cryptocurrency conferences.

In addition, Sargeant has co-authored ACAMS Today articles with Peter Warrack (chief compliance officer of Bitfinex) and others that discuss cryptocurrency suspicious indicators and is a contributing author to the Project Participate report, which is a compilation of suspicious indicators, typologies and other significant risks in the cryptocurrency industry. It was created with other industry leaders for regulators, law enforcement and other industry stakeholders.

February: Silvana Mesquita, CAMS

February’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Silvana Mesquita, CAMS. She was recognized for her dedication to the anti-money laundering (AML) field. Mesquita is a subject-matter expert in AML. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and has over 25 years of experience in the banking sector. Said experience includes independent reviews and investigations, threat/risk assessments, domestic and international training, mentorship, expert testimony and AML program development. Most of her career has been focused on financial institutions in Brazil, where she was also the AML subcommittee coordinator for Febraban.

After having worked in Switzerland and strengthening her international skills, she moved to Miami, where she accepted the role of regional AML head for EFG America. EFG is a global private banking group, offering private banking and asset management services to Latin American clients.

Mesquita, now also a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), manages the AML team for EFG Americas, which encompasses know your customer, sanctions and transaction monitoring programs.

March: Aya Kishie, CAMS-FCI

March’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Aya Kishie, CAMS-FCI. She was recognized for her various contributions to the anti-money laundering (AML) field. Kishie is the vice president for the Financial Crimes Office for Japan, Global Financial Crimes Division at MUFG Bank, Ltd. Kishie has been with MUFG for more than 12 years, having joined the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in 2003. She served in Japan’s Cabinet office for two years and has been in the compliance and AML field for almost 10 years. Kishie acquired her Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) credential in 2016 and in 2018 she became Japan’s only CAMS-FCI holder and only CAMS-certified instructor.

Since then, she has conducted six CAMS prep seminars in Japanese and singlehandedly trained more than 130 candidates. Kishie also provides the ACAMS community in Japan with constant support, reviewing Japanese translations of ACAMS course materials (including the sixth edition of the CAMS Study Guide) and supporting the establishment of the ACAMS Japan Chapter as one of its founding members.

April: Aaron Kahler, CAMS, CFE, CCI

April’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Aaron Kahler, CAMS, CFE, CCI. He was recognized for his passion for the anti-money laundering (AML) field. He is the founder of the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII). He also has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry working with institutional clients within banking, capital markets, brokerage, asset management, money services businesses, cryptocurrency exchanges, hedge funds and private equity funds. He is an AML, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), USA PATRIOT Act and Office of Foreign Assets Control regulatory compliance subject-matter expert who also specializes in financial crimes investigation, investigative due diligence and know your customer.

Prior to founding ATII, Kahler held a number of management consulting roles, private industry senior-level roles and practice leader roles in AML and BSA compliance as well as financial crimes within the financial services industry. Early in his career, he worked with the New York State Office of the Attorney General as a consumer frauds bureau investigator and he investigated child pornography while interning for Mastercard’s security and risk management department. Kahler was also a director of AML market planning for LexisNexis.

Kahler has authored a number of articles for publications such as the ABA Banking Journal, Fraud Magazine, ACAMS Today and Bank Systems & Technology. He has also been quoted in several publications on new and emerging industry news such as The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Reuters and Cointelegraph. Kahler currently holds a favorably adjudicated top-secret security clearance and is a licensed private investigator in the state of North Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Science in economic crime investigation from Utica College of Syracuse University.

May: Ruzaan Karwa, CAMS

May’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Ruzaan Karwa, CAMS. He was recognized for his guidance in the anti-money laundering (AML) field. Karwa currently manages a team of AML investigators for the financial intelligence unit at Scotiabank in Toronto, Canada. Prior to this position, he worked at Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ontario Ministry of Education. He has experience in transaction monitoring, enhanced due diligence, correspondent banking, corporate banking and sanctions.

Throughout Karwa’s 10-plus years of work experience, he has earned over 11 awards and accolades. He holds a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) designation, a bachelor’s degree in finance and a postgraduate degree in compliance administration.

Karwa is passionate about helping professionals break into the world of AML. Earlier this year, he represented the AML community as a guest speaker at an ACCES Employment Financial Services Connections program. He also volunteers at ACCES Employment, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council, CultureLink, Helping Other People Succeed (H.O.P.S.), and he conducts coaching sessions via LinkedIn.

June: Mallory Harrington, CAMS

June’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Mallory Harrington, CAMS. She was recognized for her commitment to the anti-money laundering (AML) field. Harrington currently serves as Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) officer for TFNB Your Bank for Life in Waco, Texas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University and has over 10 years of financial services experience, including operations and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) compliance. She holds a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) designation from ACAMS, is a member of the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition and serves as a board member for Waco Crime Stoppers. In 2019, she earned the Certified BSA/AML Professional designation (CBAP) from the Independent Community Bankers of America.

Harrington specializes in BSA compliance and financial crimes, including elder abuse and human trafficking, to protect her financial institution diligently. She is also committed to doing more in the Waco community by sharing her knowledge and bringing awareness to the public. Harrington works with local law enforcement to implement money laundering training and awareness of financial red flags that may be tied to human trafficking. This training empowers law enforcement to focus on predicate offenses in order to cripple trafficking networks and free individuals trapped in a cycle of human slavery.

July: Dr. Alice Tregunna

July’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Dr. Alice Tregunna. She was recognized for her expertise in the anti-money laundering (AML) field. Tregunna is an AML professional with a Ph.D. specializing in women leaders of criminal organizations. Tregunna has a wealth of international experience; originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in New Zealand (via the Netherlands, Finland, U.S. and Macedonia) and continues to set benchmarks in the anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) sector. She was a key founding member of the Trust, Integrity and Compliance Company (TIC Company) and the ATTIC Research Institute.

Currently, she holds the position of CEO at the TIC Company, balancing this with her role as a lecturer at the University of Auckland and working as an AML advisor with multiple other agencies. Tregunna is committed to breaking barriers and driving best practices across the AML/CTF industry.

August: Ahsan Habib, CAMS

August’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Ahsan Habib, CAMS. He was recognized for his knowledge of the anti-money laundering (AML) field. Habib is currently working at Scotiabank as an analyst in AML operations governance. He is a seasoned banker from Bangladesh where he worked in correspondent banking, trade finance and foreign remittance (nonresident business) departments in top-ranked banks. He is a member of ACAMS and achieved the prestigious Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) designation in 2019. He has a certification on trade-based money laundering from the Canadian Securities Institute, a certification on sanctions and various related courses, and a certification on “BSA and AML: An In-Depth Look” from the BAI. He has a strong passion for learning and sharing knowledge on financial crime through his writing and has a significant number of global publications across the U.S. and Europe. As an active and vocal member of ACAMS, he wrote an article for ACAMS Today on his country, Canada.

Habib is one of the authors of “Expected Changes in AML After COVID-19,” the e-book on changes in compliance in a post-COVID world. In line with his employer’s strong commitment and efforts against human trafficking, he is vocal against this heinous crime on various platforms.

September: Rezaul Karim, CAMS

September’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Rezaul Karim, CAMS. He was recognized for his mentorship in the anti-money laundering (AML) field. Karim is an ambitious AML compliance professional from Bangladesh with five years of experience working in the diverse risk control functions in multinational banks. He started his career at Standard Chartered Bank and currently works at HSBC Bangladesh as a customer due diligence (CDD) analyst. Karim also achieved the prestigious Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) designation from ACAMS in 2020.

In addition, Karim is an enthusiastic proponent of sharing AML knowledge. Through a LinkedIn mentorship forum, he assists, guides and resolves questions for thousands of aspiring AML compliance professionals on AML issues with explicit and detailed explanations. Doing so, he inspires many across the globe to pursue studies with ACAMS and obtain skills through international AML certifications.

Karim also contributes to the worldwide battle against financial crime through his writings. His article “Old Trick, New Victims: The Rise of Money Mules During the Pandemic” was published on and he is one of the authors of the e-book “Expected Changes in AML after COVID-19.” To further this contribution and continue the journey of learning, serving and sharing knowledge with others, Karim launched his blog “The Crimebuster” where he shares the latest financial crime news, knowledge and education to keep global financial crime professionals informed on the latest changes in the regulatory landscape and stay upskilled to prevent financial crime.

October: Matthew Haslinger, CAMS

October’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Matthew Haslinger, CAMS. Haslinger was recognized for his achievements in the anti-money laundering (AML) field. He is the chief Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) officer for M&T Bank. Haslinger attended George Mason University’s School of Law where he focused on criminal litigation. After law school, he joined the U.S. Justice Department’s Money Laundering and Bank Integrity Unit as a trial attorney where he was involved in the investigation and prosecution of complex, national, and international money laundering and sanctions-related matters. In November 2012, he returned to his hometown of Buffalo, New York to bring his BSA/AML and Office of Foreign Assets Control experience to M&T Bank. As head of the financial investigations unit, Haslinger was responsible for day-to-day operations and strategic decision making as it relates to enterprise-wide transaction monitoring, customer investigations and suspicious activity report filing. In July 2020, he was appointed chief BSA/AML officer for M&T. Haslinger is a licensed attorney in Virginia and New York, holds a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Series 7 license and a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certification.

November: Danilo Wanderley, CAMS

November’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Danilo Wanderley, CAMS. He was recognized for his positive impact in the anti-money laundering (AML) field. Wanderley is an active member of the anti-financial crime community and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).

With more than 10 years of experience in the AML industry, Wanderley has navigated all the main pillars of compliance framework. He has also contributed substantial AML knowledge to the AML and counter-terrorist financing community. Wanderley aided several notable financial institutions with his active leadership and he shared AML trends with Brazilian regulators and self-regulatory institutions, such as the Central Bank of Brazil, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil, and Bovespa Market Supervision.

December: Chadwick Burgess, CAMS

December’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Chadwick Burgess, CAMS. He was recognized for his leadership in the anti-money laundering (AML) field. Burgess is currently a manager within the AML financial intelligence unit (FIU) high-risk team at BMO Financial Group, which oversees operation of politically exposed persons enhanced due diligence investigations and the enterprise watchlist management teams. Burgess is an experienced AML professional who has had positions of varying responsibility―including conducting complex AML, counter-terrorist financing and fraud investigations―prior to progressing to management-level roles within AML. In addition to a demonstrated history of experience working within financial crimes investigations, Burgess is passionate about continuing education and actively pursues new certifications relating to financial crimes and emerging risks. 

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