U.S. Capital Chapter Update: September 2011

U.S. Capital

The ACAMS U.S. Capital Chapter has been very active.  During the second quarter of the year, the chapter held three main learning events and a networking event.  In addition, the chapter is planning a number of learning and networking events for the fall and early winter.

In April, Stephen Adaway, ICE Chief for the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit, presented a learning session on Human Trafficking and Alien Smuggling.  The learning session focused on the latest trends in alien smuggling and human trafficking and provided an overview of these crimes.  

In May, the U.S. Capital Chapter held a learning event at the Morrison and Foerster law offices in Washington D.C. that focused on Money Services Businesses (MSBs).  The topics covered included an examination of existing laws and regulations that significantly impact MSBs; pending legislation that could create additional obligations and challenges; a state regulator’s view of MSB risk-based compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA); and the views of several experts on best practices for MSBs in terms of BSA compliance and obtaining and keeping bank relationships.

Ezra Levine, senior counsel at Morrison and Foerster, started the program with an overview of the laws affecting MSBs.  Ezra was followed by Don Temple, a member of the ACAMS U.S. Capital Chapter executive board, who focused on MSB relationships with banks.  Joe Rooney, assistant commissioner of Administration for the Division of Financial Regulation of the State of Maryland addressed the state’s major findings on MSB BSA compliance.  Greg Benson, an assistant vice president with Ascella Compliance, closed the session with a discussion of MSB compliance with BSA.

In June, the chapter co-sponsored a two day learning event with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).  It was hosted at Patton Boggs, LLP and the first speaker was Carol Van Cleef, a partner with Patton Boggs.  She spoke about emerging legal issues involving third party processors.  Kevin Anderson, a member of the ACAMS U.S. Capital Chapter executive board, and a BSA expert with the Bank of America since 1990, was the next speaker.  He discussed pending rules affecting MSBs and prepaid cards, as well as the importance of a bank aligning its anti-money laundering program to address the introduction of new products.

Ian Comisky, a partner at Blank Rome LLP, who also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania Law School as a “Lecturer in Law,” discussed a series of investigations and cases involving fraud and anti-money laundering.  Tyler “GA” Smith, assistant director, Law Enforcement Liaison at FinCEN, spoke about the 314(a) and 314(b) process and FinCEN’s assessments, advisories and strategic reports.  Dennis Lormel, the co-chair of the ACAMS U.S. Capital Chapter, discussed terrorist financing (TF) issues and the need to be aware of the TF’s cycle of raising, moving, storing and spending money.

Paul Schiek, a U.S. Marshall with the Criminal Investigation Division of the U.S. Marshall’s Office, talked extensively about virtual computer worlds and the risk of fraud and money laundering it poses with its virtual currency.  Bruce Traina, former manager with IRS, and Rick Raven, director of operations policy and support, Criminal Investigation, IRS, discussed various tax-related money laundering cases, including the UBS case.

Keith Jones, a professor from George Mason University, discussed the importance of using non-financial information to detect fraud.  At the end of the second and last day, ACFE had Jerry Rainwaters, the Director of Audit for the State Department, provided a two-hour ethics training for Certified Fraud Examiners.

During the conference, the U.S. Capital Chapter hosted an evening networking event to build on the synergy between ACAMS, ACFE and a number of guest attendees from the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

In the fall and early winter, we are planning a number of learning and networking events, including a networking event in September focused on bank regulators, and learning events focused on local law enforcement efforts, AML training, the UBS case and other cases involving unreported foreign bank accounts and a wrap-up of key legal actions in 2011.

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