Welcome and thank you for visiting the ACAMS Carolinas Chapter website.
Our Chapter will launch January of 2010 in order to provide the anti-money laundering / anti-terrorism financing community with a professional resource that can provide support, guidance, training, and peer interaction for industry professionals.
Our Executive Board is comprised of regulators, industry experts, and consultants who specialize in the prevention, detection, and reporting of financial crimes, including money laundering, terrorist financing, sanctions compliance, and fraud.
One of our Chapter’s goals is to promote ACAMS as a platform for career development and professional networking for our community professionals, by organizing meetings, workshops, and events of local interest, where we will present various speakers who are subject matter experts in the industry. We believe this Chapter will be an effective and productive resource, and we strongly encourage your participation.
Upcoming Carolinas Chapter learning events will be announced soon.
Save the Date:
CDD Final Rule: One Year Out
June 27, 2017
“Connecting the Dots: Best Practices for Identifying, Assessing, and Monitoring AML Risk”
March 16, 2017
- Jason Chorlins, CPA, CFE, CAMS, CITP
Principal – Risk Advisory Services
- Ivan A. Garces, CPA, CFE, CFF, CAMS
Principal – Risk Advisory Services Practice Leader
Advisory on Cyber-Events and Cyber-Enabled Crime
March 9, 2017
The ACAMs Carolinas Chapter event, “Advisory on Cyber-Events and Cyber-Enabled Crime” held at the Fifth Third Center in uptown Charlotte on March 9, 2017, was a success. More than 100 people from over 25 firms across the Carolinas region were in attendance.
Special guest, Tim Bhatt, CISO at Ally Financial, kicked off the program with an overview of cyber risks. Bhatt engaged the audience in the discussion and raised some interesting questions regarding cyber security in today’s technologically advanced world.
Next, Paul Dougherty (Fifth Third), Kelley Chamberlain (Wells Fargo), and Carlos Orel (TD Bank) led a panel discussion on how to incorporate cyber event data into AML operations. Each panelist brought a unique perspective to the table. Paul Dougherty initiated the conversation by discussing the FinCEN Advisory issued to financial institutions in October 2016 and the four components of it:
- Reporting cyber-enabled crime and cyber-events through SARs
- Including relevant and available cyber-related information in SARs
- Collaborating between BSA/AML units and in-house cybersecurity units to identify suspicious activity
- Sharing information, including cyber-related information, among financial institutions to guard against and report money laundering, terrorism financing, and cyber-enabled crime.
All of the panelists stressed the importance of communication between IT departments and AML groups and discussed the efforts to create a more formalized process to achieve this at their institutions. There was also dialog about the interest regulators are taking in banks’ efforts around cyber-events and cyber-enabled crime and the positive feedback received from law enforcement regarding the work being done at financial institutions to aid investigations, identify criminals, and disrupt and dismantle criminal networks.
Attendees enjoyed refreshments and networking immediately following the event.
If there was any information provided during the event about which you would like to know more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Carolinas Chapter would like to thank the event speakers for their support:
- Tim Bhatt, CISO, Ally Financial
- Paul Dougherty, 5th 3rd Bancorp
- Kelley Chamberlain, Wells Fargo
- Carlos Orel, TD Bank
8th Annual Bank Secrecy Act Seminar
February 16-17, 2017
Carolinas Chapter December Event
December 13, 2016
- Richard Weber
Criminal Investigation at Internal Revenue Service
The Chief’s message will focus on the agency’s history, current challenges, and FY17 priorities. Priorities include the agency’s core mission tax investigations (employment, corporate, international/offshore, abusive tax schemes, refund crimes) and non-tax investigations (terrorism, narcotics, and cybercrimes).
CDD – Beneficial Ownership Rule/5th Pillar and Risk Assessments
November 3, 2016
- Jason Chorlins, CPA, CFE, CAMS, CITP
Principal – Risk Advisory Services
- Ivan A. Garces, CPA, CFE, CFF, CAMS
Principal – Risk Advisory Services
Trade Based Money Laundering
August 17th, 2016
Introductions by John Byrne, Executive Vice President, ACAMS
Mr. Byrne is an internationally known regulatory and legislative attorney with close to 30 years of experience in a vast array of financial service related issues, with particular expertise in regulatory oversight, policy and governance, anti-money laundering (AML), privacy and terrorist financing. He has written over 100 articles on AML, asset forfeiture and privacy; represented the banking industry in this area before the United States Congress, state legislatures and international bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF); and appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, the Today Show, and many other media outlets.
Mr. Byrne has received a number of awards, including the Director’s Medal for Exceptional Service from the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the ABA’s Distinguished Service Award for his career work in the compliance field.
John Cassara, former Dept. of Treasury, noted author
John Cassara retired after a 26 year career in the federal government intelligence and law enforcement communities. He is considered an expert in anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, with particular expertise in the areas of money laundering in the Middle East and the growing threat of alternative remittance systems and forms of trade-based money laundering and value transfer. He invented the concept of international “Trade Transparency Units,” an innovative countermeasure to entrenched forms of trade-based money laundering and terrorist financing. A large part of his career was spent overseas. He is one of the very few to have been both a clandestine operations officer in the U.S. intelligence community and a Special Agent for the Department of Treasury.
His last position was as a Special Agent detailee to the Department of Treasury’s Office of Terrorism Finance and Financial Intelligence(TFI). His parent Treasury agency was the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the U.S. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). He worked at FinCEN from 1996-2002. From 2002-2004, Mr. Cassara was detailed to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Anti-Money Laundering Section to help coordinate U.S. interagency international anti-terrorist finance training and technical assistance efforts
During his law enforcement investigative career, Mr. Cassara conducted a large number of money laundering, fraud, intellectual property rights, smuggling, and diversion of weapons and high technology investigations in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe for a variety of federal agencies. While assigned to the Office of the Customs Attaché in Rome, Italy, he directed the first truly international money laundering task force, called Operation Primo Passo, (“First Step”). The innovative operation combated Italian/American organized crime by examining the movement of money between the two countries and represented an early use of financial intelligence to proactively initiate investigations. During his customs career, he also served two years as an undercover arms dealer. He began his career with Treasury as a Special Agent assigned to the Washington Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service.
Since his retirement, he has lectured in the United States and around the world on a variety transnational crime issues. He is a industry advisor for SAS – the analytics company. Mr. Cassara has authored or co-authored several articles and books, including Hide and Seek, Intelligence, Law Enforcement and the Stalled War on Terrorist Finance (2006 Potomac Books) and On the Trail of Terror Finance – What Intelligence and Law Enforcement Officers Need to Know (2010 Red Cell IG). In 2013, his first novel was released – Demons of Gadara. Trade-Based Money Laundering: The Next Frontier in International Money Laundering (Wiley) was released in November, 2015.
Dissecting FinCEN’s Client Due Diligence Rule: understanding the final rule and preparing for implementation
June 16, 2016
BSA/AML Model Risk Best Practices
December 9, 2015
Trends in Alternative Payment Risks
August 19th, 2015
Understanding Today’s Terrorist Threats and Risks
June 3rd, 2015
Model Validation and Risk Modeling
April 21st, 2015
International Trends in Money Laundering
August 20th, 2014
The Role of the Department of Defense in AML and CTF Efforts
Presented by: Joseph Sinicrope, Lieutenant Colonel Retired USMC
March 31st, 2014
Elder Abuse – Telemarketing and Lottery Fraud
March 7, 2014
Turning the Tables – Join us for a candid question and answer session around issues and trends in AML Audits and Exams
December 11, 2013
Elder Abuse – At Risk Persons
August 21st, 2013
SAR Review Teams Nationwide, the Columbia SC Financial Crimes Task Force, And SAR Trends and Tips for Preparing SARs for Law Enforcement
July 31, 2013
Investigation Trends and the New SAR Form
April 18, 2013
Melissa L. Morelli, CAMS
Melissa Morelli is a Financial Crimes Compliance Risk Manager at U.S. Bank responsible for providing oversight of Financial Crimes risk and implementation to the Retail Line of Business. Prior to joining U.S. Bank, Melissa held various AML and Compliance roles at a large financial institution for approximately 15 years. Roles included Regulatory Relations Liaison, Financial Crimes Investigator, Financial Crimes Investigations Operational Manager, Global Financial Crimes Enterprise Training Manager and Global Financial Crimes Strategy and Operations Manager. Melissa has presented in various ACAMS training webinars in regards to Suspicious Activity Reporting and SAR Quality Assurance and as a panel speaker.
Megan Davis Hodge
Megan Davis Hodge is the Executive Compliance Director, BSA/AML Officer for Ally Financial. Prior to joining Ally, Hodge was with Royal Bank of Canada for 11 years. She served as US Regional Head of AML, responsible for overseeing the AML programs for RBC’s US-based entities. Hodge also served as the Chief Compliance Officer for RBC Bank and Head of Compliance for RBC’s US International Wealth business, and joined RBC Bank in 2005 as Director of AML and BSA Officer. Hodge spent time at Bank of America and began her career with Accenture. Hodge serves as the co-chair of the ACAMS Carolinas Chapter and is on the Board of the ABA/ABA Money Laundering Enforcement (MLE) Conference. Hodge has testified before the Congressional Oversight and Investigations Committee on Financial Services on behalf of the American Bankers Association. She holds a BSBA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
James (Jim) Arndts, CAMS
Jim Arndts is the Director of Enterprise Financial Crimes Compliance (EFCC) Transformation at US Bank. In this role he is responsible to manage strategic change across the EFCC organization. The transformation team focuses on technology / analytic solutions and business process improvement for all financial crimes initiatives. Mr. Arndts has worked in the AML Compliance industry for over 12 years. Prior to joining US Bank he was the BSA Officer at Capital Bank where he led the AML and Fraud teams. He also held multiple AML positions with RBC where he was most recently the Head of the Global AML Financial Intelligence Unit, based in Toronto, ON. Prior to joining RBC in 2007, Jim worked at Bank of America where he was a Senior Risk Technology Manager and responsible to manage the AML technology program.
Jim Arndts has an MBA from the McColl Scholl of Business at Queen’s University of Charlotte and a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from Ohio University. Mr. Arndts is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, regularly participates in industry working groups and regularly speaks at money laundering and sanction related conferences.
April Sinicrope joined the Enterprise Financial Crimes Compliance team at US Bank in 2017 as the Risk Manager supporting US Bank Investments and US Bank Asset Management. Mrs. Sinicrope has worked in the industry for over 20 years. Prior to joining US Bank in February 2017, she was with several firms, including Citi, LPL Financial, Wachovia Securities and Edward Jones Investments where she took on a myriad of roles with increasing responsibilities which provided her a detailed understanding of many aspects within a financial institution. Mrs. Sinicrope has received a Bachelor of Science from Park University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is FINRA Series 7 and 24 registered as well as a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and a Certified Fraud Examiner.
Denise Whiting is Senior Vice President – AML Executive for the retail bank at BB&T. She has 15 years of experience in the financial services industry and extensive knowledge of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Economic Sanctions (ES) and Operational Risk compliance. Denise provides subject matter expertise in the area of AML, BSA and ES related issues including identifying, assessing and managing the risks associated with money laundering and terrorist financing. She holds U.S. Patent #20110087495: Suspicious Entity Investigation & Related Monitoring in a Business Environment and is a frequent speaker on financial crimes. Prior to joining BB&T, Denise worked for three Fortune 50 financial institutions and a Fortune 300 financial institution. She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and certified in Lean Six Sigma.
South State Bank
Rebecca “Becky” Schauer Robertson is Senior Vice President – Director of AML Compliance for South State Bank, a subsidiary of South State Corporation, the largest publicly traded bank holding company in South Carolina. South State Bank operates approximately 124 locations throughout South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina. Robertson is responsible for ensuring the Bank’s compliance with all facets of the Bank Secrecy Act, USA PATRIOT Act, and Office of Foreign Assets Control. Additionally, Robertson directs the Bank’s Fraud department. Robertson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Milligan College and was honored in 2012 with the Professional Excellence Award from her Alma Mater. She holds the advanced designation of Certified Anti-Money Laundering-Audit Specialist (CAMS-Audit), and designations of Certified AML and Fraud Professional (CAFP), and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She has participated as a panelist and speaker on the topic of BSA for a number of law enforcement and risk-audit groups. In addition to serving on the ACAMS Carolinas Chapter Board, Robertson currently serves on the ABA Financial Crimes Advisory Board.
Susan holds the role of Senior Vice President, Head of Global AML Operations Support at TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank. She is based in Lexington, SC and is responsible for the Global Demarketing, AML Exception Processing and AML Operations QA program. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S. with an extensive network of approximately 1,300 locations from Maine to Florida. TD Bank is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. Before joining TD Bank 5 years ago, Susan held roles in Regulatory Compliance with South State Bank, based in Columbia, SC, and Client On-Boarding and Due Diligence with ABN AMRO Bank, based in Chicago, IL and Amsterdam in the Netherlands rounding out her 15 years of experience in AML and Compliance functions.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Development from Loyola University Chicago. She is a member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) and the Association of Certified Financial Crimes Specialists; and is past-Treasurer of the FBI Columbia Citizens Academy Alumni Association.
David Stewart, CAMS
SAS Worldwide Marketing
David is director of SAS’ Global Financial Crimes Practice for Banking and is responsible for leading strategy development, driving product management and providing key marketing counsel for Anti-Money Laundering and Fraud Management solutions worldwide. In addition to working closely with financial services institutions and regulatory agencies, David collaborates with SAS’ research and development organization, as well as implementation teams, to deliver industry best practices for financial crimes solutions. David has chaired the Annual SAS Anti-Money Laundering User Group for the past five years and has served on the steering committee of the annual Anti-Terrorist Financing Forum since 2007.
Previously, David served as a SAS business manager for one of the world’s largest financial institutions. He managed a team responsible for implementing enterprise scale projects devoted to customer relationship management and anti-money laundering initiatives. In addition, David has held various relationship management responsibilities for financial services customers over the past fifteen years.
David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from North Carolina State University and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist.
Fifth Third Bank
Paul B. Dougherty is the Director of Financial Crimes Compliance at Fifth Third Bank where he leads the Anti-Money Laundering and Economic Sanctions programs. He is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable financial crimes laws and regulations along with overseeing all financial crimes operations and risk management functions. Prior to joining Fifth third, Paul worked at Bank of America for ten years, managing the North America AML Risk Management team and the Financial Intelligence Unit.
Robert A. Goldfinger, CAMS, CFS, Cmdr. CID (retired)
ACAMS Headquarters Communication Director
Robert A. Goldfinger is the President of Lormel Goldfinger Global Group LLC. He leads the development of client relationships, partner collaborations as well as providing expert consulting services. With nearly three decades of leadership experience in the public and private sectors, Mr. Goldfinger brings a unique combination of management expertise, operational leadership and marketing across business environments. Mr. Goldfinger has held leadership positions within Fraud/Risk Management area at multiple firms over the years including financial services and technology entities. He has a proven ability to design both operational and technical approaches to enhance Risk, Fraud and Compliance management programs. Mr. Goldfinger’s background within the Compliance, Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Terrorist Financing, Security and Operational Risk disciplines allow him to view overall risk management operations with a practical risk based approach. Mr. Goldfinger is a retired Law Enforcement Executive havingserved with the Rochester New York Police Department. During his tenure in Law Enforcement, he held numerous leadership positions including Commanding Officer of Criminal Investigations, Director of Training and Development, Patrol Staff Commanding Officer, Patrol Section Commander and Internal Investigation Command managing use of deadly physical force and corruption and integrity investigations. Mr. Goldfinger is a Certified Anti-money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and Certified Fraud Specialist (CFS). He is Co-Chair of ACAMS Carolinas Chapter, and serves on ACAMS TODAY editorial task force and ACAMS educational task forces. He is a frequent speaker at numerous conferences on organizational efficiency, threat and risk management, fraud and Anti-money Laundering and has been published in a variety of industry periodicals.
U.S. Bank, Chief AML Officer
Daniel D. Soto, CAMS
Ally Financial, Inc.
Dan is the Chief Compliance Officer for Ally, where he is responsible for Ally’s enterprise-wide compliance activities. Before joining Ally, Dan spent two years with Wachovia/Wells Fargo in anti-money laundering and retail banking compliance; was for three years the Chief Compliance Officer for Royal Bank of Canada–Centura; and spent eight years with Bank of America in the global anti-money laundering compliance function.
Prior to joining the private industry, Dan was in the public sector as a commissioned bank examiner where he spent six years with the FDIC and nearly 10 years with the Federal Reserve Board.
Dan is based in Charlotte, North Carolina; was recently awarded the 2014 Distinguished Service Award from the ABA Compliance Administrative Committee; is a faculty member of the American Bankers Association’s National Compliance School; and also on the advisory boards of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists and the BSA Coalition.
Allison H. Snyder
Wells Fargo Bank
Allison Hasting Snyder is a Compliance Consultant for Wells Fargo’s Financial Crimes Risk Management Governance Office, responsible for providing policy and program oversight over lines of business. In her current role, Allison assists in the management and oversight of the enterprise financial crimes training program. She is responsible for providing subject matter expertise and credible challenge to lines of business developing financial crimes training. She also assisted in the development of the Wells Fargo AML/Sanctions Credentials Program, an in-house certification that recognizes subject matter expertise across the company.
Allison joined Wells Fargo in 2003 and since then has held various roles within the organization. Prior to her role in the Financial Crimes Governance Office, she worked as a Compliance Consultant within Wachovia’s Corporate and Investment Banking division.
Allison holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Marketing from the University of South Carolina. She is a member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS).
Law Enforcement Liaison
IRS Criminal Investigation
Christopher J. Altemus Jr. is the Assistant Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, in the Charlotte Field Office. Christopher was named to this position in January, 2016. Christopher is responsible for planning, directing, and evaluating activities of Criminal Investigation employees in the states of North Carolina and South Carolina. Criminal Investigation’s mission is to serve the American public by investigating potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner that fosters confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law.
Criminal Investigation’s law enforcement priorities are the investigation of income tax evasion and other related financial crimes. This encompasses fraud in legal industries, illegal industries, terrorism financing, public corruption and cyber related financial crimes as well as narcotics. Investigations include tax, money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act violations, which involves the proper reporting of currency transactions. Criminal Investigation investigates and assists in the prosecution of significant financial crimes that generate the maximum deterrent effect, enhance voluntary compliance, and promote public confidence in the tax system.
Christopher began his law enforcement career in 2002 with IRS Criminal Investigation in Philadelphia, PA. Christopher holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Saint Joseph’s University.
Law Enforcement Liaison
Department of Homeland Security
Nick Annan is the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Annan has oversight of the HSI Atlanta area of responsibility, which includes 11 offices in the states of Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
In his current position, Mr. Annan manages all of HSI’s complex federal law enforcement investigative programs related to national security and smuggling violations, including counter-proliferation, financial crimes, commercial fraud, human trafficking, human smuggling, narcotics smuggling, transnational gangs, cyber-crimes, child pornography and exploitation, and document and benefit fraud.
Prior to his selection as SAC, Mr. Annan served in a number of field and headquarters leadership positions. Mr. Annan comes to Atlanta from HSI San Diego, where he served as the Deputy SAC with oversight of over 250 law enforcement officers and personnel. Mr. Annan has also served as the HSI Chief of Staff. Additionally, he has held the positions of the Deputy Attaché in Rome, Italy, the Assistant SAC in San Diego and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Investigations.
Mr. Annan began his law enforcement career in 1997 with the U.S. Customs Service in San Diego, CA. Mr. Annan graduated as a Scholar-Athlete award recipient from the University of Maryland where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.
Nicolas Khouri is currently a Senior Audit Director at Ally Financial overseeing Compliance and Legal. As part of his role, Nicolas advises management and senior leadership on industry best practices and hot topics for compliance including BSA and AML. Further, Nicolas manages the Compliance Center of Excellence that supports line of business audit teams in conducting Compliance and AML reviews.
Nicolas has over 16 years of financial institutions and investment banking auditing experience focusing mainly on AML and International Operations. Prior to joining Ally, Nicolas spent 7 years as an AML auditor at Wachovia/Wells Fargo Bank. Over the years, Nicolas has developed in depth knowledge in domestic and international AML regulations.
Nicolas holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from the George Washington University and is a certified anti-money laundering specialist (CAMS) since 2006. Nicolas has been an invited speaker and/or panelist at several national conferences on AML and auditing including Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), American Bankers Association (ABA), Florida International Banking Association (FIBA), The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and the Financial Markets Association (FMA).
Megan Nelson is the Senior Vice President, Manager Financial Crimes Governance and Risk Assessments for BB&T. Megan took on this new role in August of 2016, where she is responsible for establishing and maintaining Company-wide anti-money laundering and sanctions risk assessments, testing and governance methodologies and processes.
Prior to joining BB&T, Megan was the Vice President over the Global Financial Crimes Compliance Risk Management Office for American Express. In this role, Megan had responsibility for enterprise-wide development of standards and processes related to Customer Due Diligence, Financial Crimes risk assessments, and Customer Risk Rating. Prior to that role Megan served as the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti Money Laundering Officer for American Express Bank, FSB.
Prior to American Express, Megan served in various Compliance leadership roles including Bank Control Officer for GE Capital, where she led risk identification, assessment, and testing in Compliance and as the Chief Compliance Officer and Bank Secrecy Act Officer and Anti-Money Launder Officer for a banking organization owned by Lehman Brothers.
Megan graduated from Mesa State College. She and her husband, Burke, have two children and reside in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.