North Texas Chapter


Upcoming North Texas Chapter learning events will be announced soon.

Welcome to the ACAMS North Texas Chapter web page! This new Chapter was launched on January 26, 2011 by an Executive Board composed of professionals from the AML field active in the North Texas region. The Chapter was formed to assist ACAMS with its international mission to advance the professional knowledge, skills and experience of anti-money laundering professionals throughout the world. The North Texas Chapter hopes to create a strong sense of community among professional by providing learning and networking opportunities on a regional level. We believe this Chapter will be an effective and productive resource, and we strongly encourage your participation.

North Texas Chapter

From Left to Right: Richard C. Gardner, Lysa S. Bufford, Chris Siddons, Tyrone W. Beasley, John Podvin and Mark Bell. (Missing – Charlotte Lowe and J. Tyson)

Upcoming North Texas Chapter learning events will be announced soon.

End of Year Meeting & Holiday Social

An opportunity to meet and greet and get an update on current events and what’s going on with the North Texas Chapter!

This year we will be hosting a roundtable event!
Have your questions answered and catch up on current and emerging trends in the industry.

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Its Approach to Money Laundering Risk


Jerry Melton, Principal Regulatory Coordinator, FINRA District 6 – Dallas

Jerry Melton is a Principal Regulatory Coordinator with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, where he has also served as an examiner. Prior to FINRA, Jerry was employed as a special agent with the FBI for over 20 years. While there, he investigated a variety of matters, including white collar crime, public corruption, civil rights, foreign counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism. Many of these investigations involved money laundering. Jerry has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Alabama.


Suspicious Activity Reporting by Financial Institutions: Case Studies from Law Enforcement

The North Texas ACAMS Chapter is pleased to welcome representatives from law enforcement to discuss the importance of suspicious activity reporting by financial institutions. Case studies will be utilized to illustrate the kind of information that investigators seek and find most useful in conducting investigations.


  • Alan Hampton, SA, IRS-CI
  • Rob Starr, SA, IRS-CI
  • Rodrick Benton, SA, IRS-CI

Bitcoin, Blockchain and Compliance


Arnold A. Spencer, General Counsel for Coinsource

End of Year Meeting & Holiday Social

An opportunity to meet and greet and get an update on current events and what’s going on with the North Texas Chapter!

This year we are we will be hosting a roundtable event with representatives from many areas including Banking, MSBs, Insurance, and Brokerage services.

Have your questions answered and catch up on current and emerging trends in the industry.

Beneficial Ownership

Trade-Based Money Laundering

Chapter members may bring one guest for free! (Guest must be another professional working in BSA/AML)


John Cassara, author of Trade-based Money Laundering: The Next Frontier in International Money Laundering.

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 an 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 the fall of 2015.

Big Data and Emerging Technologies

The North Texas Chapter will be hosting this event to discuss how big data and emerging technologies fuel the movement and analysis of information in operating an effective AML/Financial Crimes Program.

Chris Siddons, Senior Director, Regulatory Compliance Solutions – Market Planning, Lexis Nexis will be the featured speaker for this event.

Have your questions answered and catch up on current and emerging trends in the industry!


Chris Siddons, Senior Director, Regulatory Compliance Solutions – Market Planning, Lexis Nexis

Inside the SAR Review Process

The North Texas Chapter will be hosting this event to walk through the SAR review process. This panel event will feature speakers from the IRS Criminal Investigation team in Dallas as well as the US Attorney’s Office.

Speakers for this event include:

R. Damon Rowe, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation- Dallas Field Office
Tim Whisenant, Supervisory Special Agent, IRS Criminal Investigation – Dallas Field Office
Alan S. Hampton, Special Agent, SAR Review Team Coordinator, IRS Criminal Investigation – Dallas Field Office
Brian Poe, Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas 

Trends in Examinations

Partnering with Law Enforcement

“Banking Bad: Emerging Bank Risks – Marijuana Businesses and Virtual Currencies”

“Payment Trends: Fraud, Risk Management, & EMV”

End of Year Meeting & Holiday Social

Money Services Businesses – Focus on Compliance Efforts and how the Industry is Evolving

SAR Roundtable – How Are Financial Institutions Implementing the New FinCEN SAR Filing Requirements?

Chalo Balandran, CAMS
First Southwest Company

Chalo is the AML Compliance Officer at First Southwest Company in Dallas, Texas. He controls First Southwest Company’s AML Compliance program, which includes the implementation and amendments of policies, procedures, training, and internal controls to facilitate an expanding and robust program. He also provides limited guidance to the firms correspondent customers. He has more than 10 years of industry experience, which includes six plus years in the role as an AMLCO.

Chalo took the helm of the AML Compliance program at First Southwest Company in July of 2013. First Southwest Company is a diversified investment bank that includes a Retail Broker Dealer and two affiliate SEC Registered Investment Advisors plus varied industry specialties such as, Clearing Services for Broker Dealers/Investment Advisors, Public Finance, Individual/Institutional Investors in Capital Markets, and Corporate Finance. Previously, he was the AMLCO/Exception Sale Principal at First Command Financial Planning in Fort Worth, TX.

Chalo served honorably as a United States Marine and his educational background includes a MBA in General Business (2013) and a BBA in Finance (2002) from Texas Tech University at Lubbock, Texas and also received his CAMS designation in 2009. He also holds FINRA Series 6, 26, 63, 51, 65, and 99. He currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas.


Ty W Beasley

Ty W. Beasley

Ty Beasley is a principal in the risk advisory services division of RSM’s consulting line of business. He oversees the risk services offered from the Central Region, which includes regulatory compliance, internal audit, information technology audits, regulatory compliance, security and privacy consulting, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) reviews and loan reviews. He is the firm’s national leader of regulatory compliance services. He has been with RSM for over 19 years and has over 24 years of bank consulting and regulatory experience.

In addition to the risk services offered in the risk advisory services practice, Ty is also responsible for general bank consulting activities such as advisory assistance with regulatory agreements. Before joining our consulting team, Ty spent seven years with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a national bank examiner. During his tenure, Ty worked in both the safety and soundness and compliance on examinations for community banks and regional financial institutions. Ty served as the loan portfolio manager and examiner in charge for examining staff during numerous examinations and assisted in the training of new examiners. He complements his regulatory compliance knowledge with a vast understanding of credit risk management, anti-money laundering requirements and consent order management.


Linda Overfield, HIA, ACS, AIRC, DIA
American Fidelity Assurance Company

Linda is the Corporate Compliance and Market Conduct Manager at American Fidelity Assurance Company. She has been with American Fidelity Assurance Company since 1977 with over 25 years of that time spent in the field of compliance. In her role as Anti-money Laundering Compliance Officer, she coordinates the corporate-wide AML program, sanctions program, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In addition, she manages agent licensing, assists with complaints and market conduct issues, and serves as an Investment Company and Variable Contract Products Principal for American Fidelity Securities, Inc. for agent registration and anti-money laundering. She is a member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, and the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals, and the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.


Laura Rau

Laura, who joined MoneyGram in October, 2011, has over ten years of experience in the money services business industry, and has nearly twenty years of experience in anti-money laundering, risk assessment, internal controls, and corporate governance. She currently oversees the functions of the Compliance Program Office which includes establishing global compliance policies and procedures for the AML, fraud, OFAC, global due diligence, Ethics and Anti-Bribery programs.

The Program Office supports MoneyGram’s compliance program world-wide by conducting risk assessments, evaluating new products and channels, implementing programs to comply with new or changing laws and regulations, providing compliance exam management and program governance oversight, and assisting in the achievement of employee training objectives. Laura recently was Senior Director, Global Compliance Programs at Western Union, where she had responsibility for a variety of global compliance programs, focusing on compliance training, governance and internal controls, compliance policies, product support and executive reporting. She has experience overseeing technology work streams, creating quality assurance programs and performing compliance risk assessments.

Prior to Western Union, Laura was employed by the Federal Reserve Bank as a Senior Auditor, and started her career as a Special Agent for the Washington State Gaming Commission. She is CAMS certified by ACAMS.


Christopher Chris Siddons

Christopher (Chris) Siddons, CAMS
Crowe Horwath

Chris is the Southwest Geographic Leader of Crowe Horwath’s Regulatory Compliance Risk practice and is responsible for advising clients on the development and remediation of AML/Sanctions compliance programs and implementation of AML/Sanctions monitoring systems.

Chris has more than 18 years financial services experience. Prior to joining Crowe Horwath, Chris was the AML Operations Director at Ally Financial, Inc., a $176 billion bank holding company operating in 15 countries. Chris built an AML Operations group as part of the conversion of GMAC Financial Services from an auto finance company to a bank holding company. Functioning in this role, the AML Operations group developed and implemented a proprietary integrated customer risk scoring, transaction monitoring and case management solution. Chris was also responsible for the technology and operations supporting Ally’s AML and Sanctions compliance programs. Prior to joining Ally, was Senior AML Audit Manager at Washington Mutual responsible for building the AML Audit team to independently test the AML/Sanctions program and monitor progress remediating an OTS consent order. Prior to Washington Mutual, Chris served as a Senior Manager in the Protiviti, Inc. regulatory risk practice advising clients on the remediation of AML/Sanctions programs subject to regulatory enforcement actions. Prior to Protiviti, Inc. Chris was the Money Laundering Reporting Officer at BNP Paribas Private Bank & Trust Cayman Limited where he was responsible for building the AML/Sanctions compliance program.

He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS designation from the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists).


John Podvin

John Podvin
Membership Director
Shapiro Bieging Barber Otteson LLP

John is a partner at Shapiro Bieging Barber O Heson LLP in Dallas, Texas. John has almost 25 years of regulatory agency, law firm and corporate experience. He has advised corporate boards, board committees, and management on federal and state banking laws and regulations and has served as primary liaison to federal banking regulators.

During his corporate career with an NYSE-listed parent company to a $16 billion bank, he advised the board and management on compliance with applicable law, with specific emphasis on government relations, fair lending, insider lending, affiliate transactions, legal lending limits, anti-money laundering, privacy and ethics. In addition, he actively participated in the formulation and support of enterprise-wide policies and strategic initiatives. He supervised and coordinated investigations triggered by calls to the ethics hotline required by Sarbanes-Oxley. Finally, he coordinated and acted as primary liaison for all examinations with federal bank regulators.

As an attorney with a leading international law firm, John assisted financial institutions with regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, enforcement actions and litigation. He also worked closely with financial institutions in developing new products and services, including electronic banking services, Internet services and other forms of information technology. John served on the American Bankers Association Compliance Executive Committee from 2005-2008 and he served as the President-Elect of the Texas Association of Bank Counsel.


Charlotte Lowe, CAMS, CFCS
Programming Director
Santander Consumer USA

Charlotte’s banking career began in 1983. In 2014, she joined Santander Consumer USA and is the SVP Consumer Compliance – BSA/AML. Prior to joining Santander, she was with In 2003, she joined Texas Capital Bank and for the past five years has served as Senior Vice President and BSA/AML/OFAC Officer. Before Texas Capital Bank, she was with Bluebonnet Savings Bank for 15 years where she performed many functions in administrative and management roles with responsibilities that included implementing new products, regulatory compliance programs, training and development, policy and procedure development, banking center consolidations, bank/branch acquisitions, data conversions, vendor management, business continuity planning and other programs to support the Bank’s retail and wholesale operations. She served as Bluebonnet’s BSA/AML/OFAC officer from 1996 to 2003.

Charlotte is a graduate of West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas and has continued professional development and education from leading industry training and certification programs through the ABA, AIB, TSCBA/TBA, ACAMS, and others. She received her ACAMS, CAMS certification in 2006 and her CFCS in 2013.


James Charles, CFE, CAMS
Co-Programming Director
American Fidelity Assurance Company

James is the Sr. Regulatory Analyst for American Fidelity Assurance Company. He is responsible for providing oversight and direction of the AML program and ensuring compliance with OFAC and FCPA related laws and regulations of multi-national financial institutions. In addition to these responsibilities, he coordinates the regulatory examination process and negotiates regulatory filings on behalf of the Corporation. Prior to joining American Fidelity, James served as Deputy Chief Examiner for the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

James received his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma City University and Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma Christian University. He is a Certified Financial Examiner and former State Chair of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Society of Financial Examiners. He is also a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist.


Holly Hasty

Holly Hasty, CSCP
Communications Director

Holly is currently the Director, Risk and Regulatory at MoneyGram. She is responsible for assisting MoneyGram in establishing and implementing a global risk assessment framework, conducting self–assessments, and managing independent reviews and ongoing regulatory examinations. Prior to joining MoneyGram, Holly spent fifteen years in the securities industry, serving in various roles in Capital Markets and Compliance. Her experience includes serving as Chief Compliance Officer for a large regional clearing firm. Most recently Holly was Senior Vice President of Clearing Services for First Southwest Company where she was responsible for assisting over 80 introducing broker dealers with their day to day business, compliance and operational needs. Holly is a Certified Securities Compliance Professional (CSCP) and has also served on the Business Advisory Board for Missouri Southern State University’s School of Business Administration. She earned both a Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing) and Master of Business Administration (Finance) from the University of Mississippi and is FINRA Series 4, 7, 14, 24, 53, 55, 63, and 66 registered.


Kristi Diehl, CAMS
Co-Communication Director

Kristi is a Vice President within MoneyGram Compliance overseeing the global transaction monitoring and government reporting functions, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), and fraud-related government reporting. She has more than 25 years of significant financial service industry, regulatory and compliance experience. She is CAMS certified by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (“ACAMS”) and an associate member of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Kristi’s responsibilities include the global execution of the Companies consumer protection program, OFAC and sanctions compliance, and internal controls and risk modeling compliance. She leads the teams responsible for conducting global risk-based monitoring and complex investigations on products, agents and consumers, analyzing high-risk alerts, and developing trends and pattern typologies for use in the determination if additional compliance controls are warranted. She is responsible for the Companies compliance enhancement program to replace and upgrade our compliance technology and to support market leading compliance.

Kristi joined MoneyGram in November of 2011 from Western Union where she served in several capacities including Vice President, Global Customer Care Operations and Vice President, AML Compliance. Kristi’s experience also includes Assistant Vice President, Regulatory Compliance at OppenheimerFunds where she had oversight of monitoring and governmental reporting teams, implementation of the USA Patriot Act, ERISA compliance and retirement planning, OFAC/Sanctions review, regulatory exam management, global risk assessments & broker/dealer and third party administrator’s oversight/reviews.