Welcome to the Greater Phoenix Chapter webpage! Our Chapter formed to provide the anti-money laundering /anti-terrorism financing (collectively AML) community in Arizona with a resource that provides support, guidance, training, and peer interaction for industry professionals.

The Greater Phoenix Chapter will actively support the goals of the international ACAMS association by being the premier AML organization in Arizona. The Chapter will fulfill this mission by:

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  • Providing high-quality meetings, workshops, and networking events where members and non-members can build knowledge, enhance skills, and share experiences and expertise.
  • Achieving recognition as an effective resource by promoting sound AML policies, procedures, effective practices, and international standards to the local community including AML professionals, academic institutions, government agencies, financial institutions, and law enforcement.
  • Building strong relationships with other professional organizations in the greater Phoenix region having similar money laundering prevention interests.
  • Responding to the needs of our members that arise from the diversity of AML responsibilities and the constantly changing money laundering methodologies.

We look forward to meeting you… Join Today!

Upcoming Greater Phoenix Chapter learning events will be announced soon.

ACAMS Greater Phoenix Networking Social

Greater Phoenix Chapter Networking Event

Please RSVP by July 15th.
Attendance will be limited to 75.

ACAMS Phoenix Chapter Training Event

The Greater Phoenix ACAMS Chapter is proud to co-sponsor the Third Annual Arizona AML Conference

The Greater Phoenix ACAMS Chapter is proud to co-sponsor the Second Annual Arizona AML Conference

Annual Arizona AML Conference

Financial Behaviours of Active Gamblers

The Greater Phoenix ACAMS Chapter held a learning event on September 5, 2013. Nearly 40 attendees trekked to the Talking Stick Resort and Casino in Scottsdale Arizona to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and the opportunity to network with others from financial institutions, financial product service entities, regulatory agencies, casinos, the Phoenix Police Department, the IRS, Homeland Security, and other businesses. An overview of Chapter membership benefits was presented by Chapter Co-Chair Hemant Mirchandani.

A presentation was made by Michael Webb, CAMS/CPA, BSA/Tax Controller for Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort and Casino on Financial Behaviors of Active Gamblers. The presentation included a description of BSA/AML investigations as they pertain to casinos. Investigative processes are different than those used by financial institutions due to frequent lack of specific information on transactors. The presentation covered ways of identifying cash depositors transacting substantial cash while making claims of gambling winnings and types of activity tracked by casinos. Mike also included a case study of an investigation that lasted approximately 12 months.

Thank you to Talking Stick Resort and Casino for hosting this event and to all those who attended!

Effective Financial Investigations

Writing Quality SARs in the Electronic Age

On March 5, 2013, ACAMS brought its first live, full-day seminar to Phoenix, jointly sponsored by the Greater Phoenix ACAMS Chapter. Twenty-nine attendees from six different states had the opportunity to hear speakers from financial institutions and the IRS Criminal Investigations (CI) division. Presentations covered expectations of law enforcement, examiners, and senior management as well as real-life fraud scenarios with recordings of bank call centers. Attendees were divided into five groups, each with a separate ‘fact’ sheet, to discuss and create Suspicious Activity Reports on the transactions/activity provided. The IRS CI, both of whom are members of the Phoenix SARs Task Force, reviewed the SARs and provided feedback on the narratives.

Attendees were from a variety of financial industries, including banks; casinos; credit unions; money services businesses; and insurance companies from multiple different states. The diversity led to discussions of varying fraud and unusual activity seen within each industry. Real world experiences were also shared by the presenters, from financial institution and law enforcement perspectives.

The seminar was hosted by Silicon Valley Bank in Tempe, AZ and attended by several national and Chapter ACAMS members.

Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson, CAMS

Melissa “Lisa” Johnson has been working in the fields of AML and Risk Compliance for over 10 years with experience in audit, reporting and investigations. She is an Investigations Manager in the Financial Intelligence Unit at American Express where she leads a team of analysts who review and report suspicious activity in compliance with the Bank Secrecy and USA PATRIOT Acts. She holds Bachelor of Science in Economic Crime Investigation and Master of Science in Economic Crime Management, both from Utica College.

Catheryn J. Avalos

Catheryn J. Avalos, CAMS
Co-programming Director

Catheryn has over 11 years of experience investigating financial crimes and nine years in banking compliance specializing in the Bank Secrecy Act. Catheryn currently works as a compliance officer with Zions Bancorporation operating as the Bank Secrecy Act officer at National Bank of Arizona. Catheryn is CAMS certified and earned a Bachelors in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

Email: catheryn.avalos@zionsbancorp.com

Stephanie Daniel

Stephanie Daniel, CAMS
Co-Communications Director

Fraud and Operational Risk Mitigation professional with 20+ years of experience in the financial services field through operational & credit risk management, compliance administration, investigation and management of high profile investigations in mortgage, retail banking, credit, payments and online channels.

Email: stdaniel@paypal.com

Jennifer Haggard

Jennifer Haggard, CAMS, CRCM
Membership Director

Jennifer Haggard oversees enterprise-wide administration for Wells Fargo’s financial crimes program. Her primary areas of responsibility include managing operational risk reporting for the program, overseeing the audit and exam liaison function, and directing the BSA/AML/sanctions risk assessment process. Jennifer has more than 25 years in the industry, including experience in bank supervision and compliance management. Prior to joining Financial Crimes Risk Management, Jennifer served as an Audit Director at Wells Fargo leading dedicated compliance and BSA/AML/sanctions teams. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Iowa.

Email: jennifer.haggard@wellsfargo.com

April Thatch
Event Coordinator
Charles Schwab

Jo-Ann Humphrey

Jo-Ann M Humphrey, CPA, CGFM, CAMS
Secretary / Treasurer

Jo-Ann has built her career around service and has served her country in the Persian Gulf War, communities in her work for government, and businesses, families and individuals in her private CPA practice. For over 20 years, she has been dedicated to making a positive difference in communities as a CFO/Senior Financial Manager in various governmental roles while simultaneously running her own CPA practice dedicated to helping individuals, families and businesses flourish. In her private practice, she has worked in compliance, forensic financial analysis, and assisting businesses with the detection and prevention of financial crimes. She has experienced a truly amazing career in Ohio but the best part of her career is yet to come here in Arizona! In expanding on her past, she is now focused on enhancing and helping individuals, businesses, and governmental entities identify issues, gaps and opportunities in planning and to serve as the catalyst that moves their plan to the next level in her role with Lincoln Financial Advisors. Jo-Ann earned her Bachelor in Accounting and Masters in Christian Ministry with a concentration in Sports Ministry from Malone University in Canton OH.

Email: Jo-Ann.Humphrey@lfg.com

April Thatch
Co-Event Coordinator
Charles Schwab

April Thatch is a Senior Manager on the Financial Intelligence Analytics & Reporting Team (FIT) at Charles Schwab. The FIT is a cross-programmatic group that proactively identifies threats, trends, and patterns related to a multitude of financial crimes including money laundering, fraud, bribery, and OFAC violations. She has an extensive background in BSA/AML Compliance and previously held roles in the areas of: KYC, EDD, AML, OFAC Sanctions, modeling, and testing. April earned a Masters in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati and Bachelors in Criminology & Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. She is also CAMS certified.

Email: april.thatch@schwab.com

Kyle Schultz

Kyle Schultz

Kyle Schultz has over 5 years of experience at Bank of America through Financial Center Management, CIP/KYC, Enhanced Due Diligence and is currently an AML Business Control and Risk Management professional supporting the AML Operations program. Kyle is CAMS certified and earned a Bachelors in Business Management from St. Cloud State University.

Email: kyle.schultz@bankofamerica.com