Thank you for visiting the ACAMS Connecticut Chapter webpage. The Chapter was founded in March 2012 by an Executive Board comprised of industry experts in the AML and counter-terrorist-financing fields. The Chapter seeks to promote the overall mission of ACAMS – that is, “…to advance the professional knowledge, skills and experience of those dedicated to the prevention, detection and reporting of international money laundering.” We hope to provide educational resources and develop opportunities for those AML professionals in the region through the organization of meetings and local events. Chapter events will present speakers from the private sector, the supervisory and regulatory agencies and law enforcement. These events will promote career development and professional networking for members and non-members alike, and provide a solid connection between ACAMS professionals and local government agencies and financial institutions. We strive to make this Chapter an effective and productive resource for financial institutions and related businesses, and we welcome your participation.
Upcoming Connecticut Chapter learning events will be announced soon.
Fall 2016 Learning Event
November 17, 2016
The Connecticut Chapter held a learning event on Thursday November 17, 2016, which focused on the opioid epidemic that has gripped Connecticut, the financial aspects of the problem and SAR filings. 55 AML professionals attended the event that was held at the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Connecticut in New Haven.
Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) Robert Spector led the group through a very informative presentation that demonstrated the steady increase of opiate abuse in Connecticut and the subsequent fallout including alarming statistics that show increasing instances of both overdose and death. AUSA Spector also highlighted the increasing misuse of prescription drugs by teenagers and gave tips on how to discuss and prevent such abuse in the home.
The Honorable Deirdre M. Daly, US Attorney for the State of Connecticut, addressed the group, stressing the importance of the work done by AML professionals. She informed the audience that her office gives SAR filings priority and reviews all that they receive, reinforcing how valuable the reports are to law enforcement.
AUSA Peter Jongbloed and IRS CID Special Agent Maria Papageorgiou discussed the financial aspects of opiate investigations and how SAR filings can help law enforcement identify potential users and traffickers. Both AUSA Jongbloed and Special Agent Papageorgiou provided unique insight to investigation techniques regarding the epidemic and how AML professionals’ SAR filing efforts are recognized and valued by their teams.
A key takeaway from both presentations was that the Opiate epidemic is driven by profit and the disease known as addiction.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Innessa Levina introduced two new Chapter Board members, Sean McGuire and Thomas Krois. Innessa reminded the group that the chapter will be hosting its third annual learning event in the Spring. Be sure to look for your invitation to this outstanding event and please, if you are not a Chapter member, join us and enjoy the quality content that the Chapter continues to provide.
October 23, 2016
On October 23, 2016, board members from the CT ACAMS Chapter attended a fundraiser for the benefit the International Institute of Connecticut, Inc. (IICONN) as an Ally sponsor with a donation of $3,500.00.
IICONN is a CT statewide nonprofit organization that assists refugees and immigrants resolve legal, economic, linguistic, and social barriers so that they become self-sufficient, integrated and contributing members of the community. IICONN achieves this mission by providing a compassionate array of high quality legal, social, and educational programming and by promoting cross cultural understanding and decent treatment for all.
IICONN is the only organization in Connecticut that provides comprehensive services to combat human trafficking in the state, including assistance in identifying and assisting both foreign born and US citizen victims of all forms of sex and labor trafficking.
The Chapter is proud to sponsor and volunteer with this life changing non-profit organization. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please contact the ACAMS CT Chapter board members at firstname.lastname@example.org for upcoming volunteer opportunities.
ACAMS Connecticut Chapter Board Volunteers
September 13, 2016
Summer Networking Event
July 21, 2016
The Evolution of AML: Back to Basics
February 5, 2016
The ACAMS Connecticut Chapter’s event, ‘The Evolution of Anti-Money Laundering – Back to Basics’ held at Foxwoods Resort Casino on February 5, 2016 was a success. Despite challenging weather conditions, more than 200 people from over 90 firms across the Northeast were in attendance.
Special guest, John J. Byrne, Esq., CAMS, Executive Vice President of ACAMS, kicked off the program with an update on ACAMS. Next, Rick Small, CAMS, Executive Director, AML and Financial Crimes, Ernst & Young LLP, joined John for a discussion of regulatory trends and current events in AML including some recent enforcement actions, tone at the top, personal liability of compliance officers, the proposed Beneficial Ownership rule, independent evaluations of AML programs, and geographic targeting orders.
The topic for Panel I was ‘Risk Assessing Your Risk Assessment. Panelists discussed the challenges and increase exposures resulting from heightened regulatory scrutiny of risk assessments.
Panel II focused on ‘Views and Expectations for the BSA Officer’. Here, the Panel discussed compliance officer liability, board and staff training, as well as the use of SAR Committees and other initiatives to assist with the SAR decision-making process.
Panel III spoke about ‘AML Investigations & SARs’, sharing some best and worst practices in SAR-writing and 2016 enforcement priorities for regulatory agencies.
The final panel discussed Sanctions, specifically sanctions/compliance program challenges with regards to perspectives on Cuba, Iran, Burma and the Crimean region; sanctions enforcement trends and responding to departmental resource and budget allocations; as well as different operational challenges between small and large financial institutions.
To close the day, Alicia R. Kinsman, Director, CT Coalition Against Trafficking, International Institute of Connecticut, provided powerful real life examples of human trafficking cases in Bridgeport, CT. Throughout the event, the CT Chapter collected donations toward the Polaris Project, which helps to bring an end to human trafficking.
The night before the event, over 100 attendees gathered at Foxwoods for bowling, billiards and networking.
If there was any information provided during the event about which you would like to know more, please feel free to contact us at ConnecticutChapter@ACAMS.org.
The CT Chapter would like to thank the event speakers and our generous sponsors for their support:
- Scott, Andreozzi, FIU Leader, GE Capital Americas
- Sharon Blanchette, Director, Special Projects Enterprise Governance, Risk & Compliance (EGRC) Solutions, FIS Global
- Paul Burgoyne, Senior Manager, Anti-Money Laundering Services, Deloitte Transactions & Business Analytics LLP
- John J. Byrne, Esq., Executive Vice President, ACAMS
- Traci R.E. Carpenter, VP, BSA/OFAC/AML Officer, Savings Institute Bank & Trust
- John P. Cronin, Senior Manager, Fraud Investigations and Dispute Services, Ernst & Young LLP
- Frank Ewing, Partner, AML RightSource
- James J. Finnerty, SVP and Associate Deputy Global AML Officer – U.S., TD Bank
- Robin Fujio, BSA Officer, Liberty Bank
- Steven Goldberg, Global Co-Head of Capital Markets, Crowe Horwath LLP
- William Goss, Director of Business Development, Telavance Inc.
- Jason Grasso, Financial Crimes Solution Specialist, Security Intelligence, SAS
- Uday Gulvadi, Director – Internal Audit, Risk and Compliance, Telavance Inc.
- Alicia R. Kinsman, Director, CT Coalition Against Trafficking, International Institute of Connecticut
- John MacKessy, Director and Global Head of AML Monitoring, Citi Cards
- Darrin McLaughlin, Managing Director, Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer, RDC
- Brenda Perrotti, Sanctions & Export Controls Leader, Mastercard
- Michael T. Renehan, Special Agent, IRS-CI
- Lauren J. Resnick, Partner, White Collar and Corporate Investigations, BakerHostetler
- Michael Shove, Special Agent, U.S. Secret Service, New Haven Resident Office
- Rick Small, Senior Advisor AML and Financial Crimes, Ernst & Young LLP
- Eric A. Sohn, Director of Business Product, Dow Jones Risk & Compliance
- Dean Thomas, Deputy Head of Intelligence, Standard Chartered Bank
- Denise Wright, Vice President, Sanctions Advisory, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ
- AML RightSource – Platinum
- Dominion Advisors – Platinum
- RDC – Platinum
- Deloitte Transactions & Business Analytics LLP – Gold
- Dow Jones Risk and Compliance – Gold
- Telavance, Inc. – Gold
- Crowe Horwath LLP – Silver
- FIS RISC – Silver
- Lexis Nexis – Silver
- NICE Actimize – Silver
- Banker’s Toolbox – Bronze
ACAMS Connecticut Chapter Learning Event
October 22, 2015
The Connecticut (CT) Chapter of ACAMS held an event on Thursday, October 22, 2015, which covered Effective Risk Assessment and Human Trafficking: What it looks like in Connecticut and Financial Intelligence. The event was held at People’s United Bank in Bridgeport, CT and 85 AML professionals from several different financial firms and consulting agencies attended. The event also included a one-hour networking session and breakfast.
Speakers at the event were Sharon Blanchette, Director, Special Projects with FIS Global; Alicia Kinsman, Esq., Director, CT Coalition Against Trafficking; and Dean Thomas, Deputy Head of Intelligence, Financial Crime Intelligence – Americas, Standard Chartered Bank. Sharon discussed incorporating AML and human trafficking risk into an organization’s Enterprise Risk Management Program. Alicia provided some very impactful, real-life examples of human trafficking in Connecticut, as well as guidance on how to help victims (the National Anti-Trafficking Resource Hotline 1-888-373-7888 accepts anonymous tips). Dean walked through Standard Chartered Bank’s dedicated efforts to partner with law enforcement, NGOs and other financial institutions in the fight against human trafficking.
The Chapter also provided attendees with information about Polaris, one of the leading anti-trafficking organizations in the United States, and its efforts to end human trafficking. The Chapter is holding a fundraiser for Polaris; the link to our donation page is https://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5417/my/donate.jsp?supporter_my_donate_page_KEY=8282.
Thank you to all who attended our event!
Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Sanctions Challenges in the Insurance Industry
June 18, 2015
The Evolution of Anti-Money Laundering
February 6, 2015
Bitcoin investigations, marijuana-related business due diligence, and information on Russian sanctions
September 9, 2014
The Connecticut (CT) Chapter of ACAMS held an event on Tuesday, September 9, 2014, which covered Marijuana-Related business, BitCoin investigations, and Russian sanction information. The event was held at People’s United Bank, in the Multi-Purpose room and 69 AML professionals from several different financial firms and consulting agencies attended.
Speakers at the event were Howard Fields, who is the Senior Compliance Officer of the AML Financial Intelligence Unit with GE Capital Bank and Enton Nikaj, Vice President of Anti Money Laundering with People’s United Bank. Both spoke to Marijuana-Related business and how it may affect the financial industry. Howard is also the Co-Programming Director and an original founder of the ACAMS CT Chapter Executive Board. The last speaker for the event was Innessa Levina, Vice President of Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance with People’s United Bank. Innessa is also the newly appointed Co-Chair of the ACAMS CT Chapter Executive Board. She spoke to BitCoin investigations, which included tuning AML software and screening core databases for transaction keywords.
The Chapter also provided attendees with several links for important news articles on the evolving sanctions against Russia.
Customer Due Diligence and Beneficial Ownership
April 1, 2014
Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Guest Speaker Series: Benefits of Information Sharing
November 13, 2013
2013 Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Seminar
June 3, 2013
ACAMS Connecticut Chapter Event
October 22, 2012
Connecticut Chapter Learning and Networking Event
June 14, 2012
Connecticut Chapter Launch
March 1, 2012
Communications Director position is open:
If you are interested in pursuing a Connecticut Chapter board position, or just volunteering to help coordinate future events, please email us at ConnecticutChapter@ACAMS.org.
Innessa Levina, CAMS
Innessa Levina, Vice President/Business Leader of Global AML Advisory at MasterCard, has more than 15 years of experience in the compliance sector of the risk management and banking industry. Innessa is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and seasoned financial industry professional with extensive experience in assessment and testing of compliance policies, procedures and processes, in addition to conducting complex criminal investigations to prevent the finance of terrorist groups and illicit transfer of funds though financial markets. She is an expert in customer due diligence (CDD/EDD), transaction surveillance (SARs), fraud investigations, AML look-backs, AML System Tuning and Calibration, and other financial regulatory matters, both international and US-based, with hands-on experience in policy and procedures development. During her extensive career, Innessa exhibited superior project management, analytical and research skills with a demonstrated ability to direct projects from inception through completion. She successfully managed AML tuning initiatives and threshold setting objectives for the complex AML solutions (SAS) and effectively managed diverse teams and communicated a compelling vision.
Innessa holds a Master of Business Administration degree in International Business, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management Development and Organization. Most recently, Innessa has joined the ACAMS Connecticut Chapter as Co-Chair.
Joann Kokorus, CAMS
Joann Kokorus is the BSA Operations Manager at Liberty Bank, which was chartered in 1825, making it the oldest mutual bank in Connecticut. Liberty Bank is headquartered in Middletown, CT. She oversees the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Team. Some of Joann’s responsibilities as the BSA Operations Manager include reviewing and submitting CTR and SAR filings, monitoring high risk customers, as well as providing BSA/AML training to different lines of business, including retail branch locations.
She has been in the banking industry for 10 years and in the BSA/AML profession for almost 9 years. Joann has held positions with other financial institutions in fields of Retail Operations, Cash Management and ACH Operations, as well as BSA/AML Compliance.
Joann is CAMS certified and has been an ACAMS member since 2014. She has recently joined the ACAMS CT Chapter Board. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Western Connecticut State University and an M.B.A. from Albertus Magnus College. Joann has also been a part time adjunct professor of history at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, CT since 2007.
Amy Britton, CAMS
Fairfield County Bank
Amy is the Vice President, BSA Officer at Fairfield County Bank, a community Bank in Fairfield County, CT. She oversees the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering and Office of Foreign Assets Control programs. Some of Amy’s responsibilities as BSA Officer include; monitoring and communicating the Bank’s BSA/AML/OFAC risk, monitoring high risk customers, regulatory reporting, and training and awareness. She has been in the banking industry for 15 years and in the AML profession for 7 years. Amy has held positions in Retail Operations, Lending Operations, and supported the Regulatory Compliance, Internal Audit, and Vendor Management functions.
Amy is CAMS certified and has been an ACAMS member since 2013. She has also been an ACAMS CT Chapter Member since 2013 and has held Chapter Executive Board positions as Co-Chair and Co-Communications Director. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Management with Post University and is a 2015 graduate of the CBA’s CT School of Finance and Management.
Michael A. Ifill, CAMS
Michael has served in financial institutions for more than 14 years in various capacities ranging from retail sales & back-office operations to compliance. Michael has been an AML professional, with UBS, since 2005 and brings a deep understanding of regulatory requirements and international standards through his collaborative efforts involving global AML-related projects. He has specialized in Customer Due Diligence (CDD), identifying inherent money laundering vulnerabilities, assigning higher risk customer rankings, Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) monitoring, and conducting live and post-transaction monitoring and surveillance.
Michael received his MBA in a dual concentration of Financial Management and International Business from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. He has been an active member of ACAMS since 2010.
Yesenia Erodici is a Regulatory Compliance Manager for BankMobile, a division of Customers Bank and America’s first no-fee digital bank. In her role, Yesenia is responsible for managing the complaints administrative team and assisting the Chief Compliance Officer in performing periodic risk assessments in Consumer Complaints Mechanism in order to prevent company exposure to compliance failures or related penalties and fines.
Yesenia’s responsibilities also include compliance monitoring for the BSA/AML team in which she conducts extensive quarterly reviews to ensure regular monitoring, investigations, and reporting are being conducted in a timely manner to prevent the financing of terrorist groups and illicit transfers of funds through financial markets.
Prior to joining BankMobile, Yesenia gained her investigative skills during the 17 years she invested at Peoples United Bank. During this time, Yesenia conducted investigations, carried out transaction surveillance (SARs), performed enhance due diligence, and developed a broad knowledge of compliance issues within the financial service industry with a focus in BSA, AML, OFAC, CIP, and USA Patriot Act.
Yesenia holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS). She has also been recognized by the Acting United States Attorney and the Connecticut Bank Secrecy Act Review Team for ‘diligent efforts in reporting suspicious banking activity’ while working in conjunction with the US Attorney’s Office, the internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, and other state and federal agencies during her tenure at People’s United bank. Most recently Yesenia has joined the ACAMS Connecticut Chapter as the Co-Programming Events Director.
Patrick Bartiromo, CPA, CFE, CAMS
Pat Bartiromo is the Financial Crimes/AML Compliance Test Leader for GE Capital Corporation. Responsible for the Financial Crimes Compliance (FCC) build-out of the Compliance Assurance Testing Program by developing written procedures, testing methodology, quality assurance program and testing scripts for mandatory use across all lines of business and geographies. Pat served as a Vice President of Audit at Citigroup, Inc. managing and directing multiple audit engagements including student/auto loans, consumer and commercial real estate, credit cards, Basel II reporting, bank branch reviews, compliance, tax, fraud investigations and validation of MRA’s, MRIA’s and government consent orders. Pat is one of the founding members of the ACAMS Connecticut Chapter and is the brother of Fox Business News correspondent Maria Bartiromo formerly of CNBC.
Stephanie Orazietti, CAMS
Stephanie Orazietti, Senior Auditor at Liberty Bank has more than 20 years in the banking industry primarily in the Audit function. Stephanie joined Liberty Bank in 2009 and is responsible for the coordination of the annual BSA Audit which provides an assessment of the Bank’s compliance with the requirements with the BSA and related regulations including the USA PATRIOT Act, Customer Identification Program (CIP), and Regulation GG requirements. Stephanie performs internal audit work which includes procedures that constitute the required regulatory independent test of Liberty Bank’s compliance with the record keeping and reporting requirements of the BSA.
Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Eastern Connecticut State University. Stephanie is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and has been a member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) since 2015.
Lawrence Ruttenberg, CAMS
Patriot National Bank
Lawrence (Larry) Ruttenberg, Co-Secretary at Patriot National Bank, a $625 million bank headquartered in Stamford, CT with 10 branches, was named BSA Officer in January 2009 to build a comprehensive BSA/AML/OFAC program after the bank received an OCC formal agreement and consent order for program deficiencies. As a result of his efforts, all adverse OCC regulatory actions were lifted in October 2014. As BSA Officer, Larry is responsible for overseeing Patriot National Bank’s BSA/AML/OFAC program, managing the bank’s transaction-monitoring operations, assisting with other compliance policies and administering the bank’s online training program.
Before joining Patriot National Bank, Larry worked as the Vice President of Retail Banking, Security Officer and BSA Officer at NSS Bank in Norwalk, CT prior to its merger with Summit Bank. In total Larry has over 35 years of community banking experience.
Larry earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), a certification from the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS). He is also a graduate of the Connecticut School of Finance and Management and the National School of Finance and Management.
Tom Stuurop, CAMS, CFE
Webster Bank, NA
Tom Stuurop, CAMS, CFE is an Assistant Vice President, Investigations Supervisor with Webster Bank, NA’s (Webster Bank) Financial Intelligence Unit. Mr. Stuurop is responsible for management and supervision of a team of investigators tasked with conducting Anti-Money Laundering related investigations and submission of Suspicious Activity Reports in accordance with the Bank’s BSA / AML program. Prior to his return to Webster Bank, Mr. Stuurop was a part of JPMorgan Chase’s (JPMC) Global Financial Crimes Compliance Division where he conducted investigations of JPMC’s Foreign Correspondent Bank clientele in the Asia Pacific region. Mr. Stuurop has also previously held investigative and analytic roles with Webster Bank and Connecticut Community Bank, NA.
Mr. Stuurop is a Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, and has been an ACAMS member since 2007. He is also a founding member of the ACAMS CT Chapter. Mr. Stuurop received his B.S. from The Pennsylvania State University.
Kristen Birge, CAMS
Sikorsky Credit Union
Kristen Birge is currently the Vice President, Risk Manager at Sikorsky Credit Union and is an accomplished compliance professional with over 10 years of experience in the BSA/AML sector. With a strong knowledge in the areas of customer due diligence, the Customer Identification Program, customer risk ranking, transaction surveillance, fraud investigations, and other financial regulatory matters, Kristen has successfully contributed to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Fraud and BSA departments within her institution. Kristen earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and has obtained her certification as an Anti-Money Laundering Specialist with ACAMS. She has been an active member of ACAMS since 2012 and joined the ACAMS Connecticut Chapter as Co-Membership Director in 2014.
Michael Morency, CAMS, CFE
Foxwoods Resort Casino
Michael is the Special Investigator of the Compliance Department at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut. Part of his responsibilities is to assist the organization in remaining compliant with all applicable laws promulgated in the Bank Secrecy Act. He is responsible for the prevention of organized crime infiltration, money laundering, and currency transaction violations at Foxwoods. In addition, he oversees and conducts investigations in an effort to ensure the integrity of the gaming enterprise’s operations processes, as well as assists in development of controls for fraud prevention and monitoring casino operations for irregular activities.
Prior to Foxwoods, Michael was a private investigator, a Special Agent with IRS-Criminal Investigations, and worked at Bank of New York Mellon and JP Morgan Chase as an Anti-Money Laundering Investigator and Analyst, respectively.
Michael earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Bentley College in Waltham, MA where he majored in Finance. He is currently attending Utica College’s Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Economic Crime and Fraud Management Program; and anticipates receiving his degree in the fall of 2015. Michael has been CAMS certified since October 2011. In addition, he obtained his Certified Fraud Examiner certification from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) in March 2014.