Houston Chapter


Upcoming Houston Chapter learning events will be announced soon.

The ACAMS Houston Chapter is the local connection to ACAMS, the world’s most prestigious association for anti-money laundering professionals. The chapter was created to increase awareness of best practices in AML prevention and to offer members an open forum to exchange ideas with local law enforcement and industry professionals. Through networking and educational events, the chapter strives to create a local community of professionals who share the common passion of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as creating a support network for ACAMS members seeking to earn the CAMS designation.

To get more involved or suggest training topics, please contact us or reach out to any of the board members directly.

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ACAMS Houston Chapter

Upcoming Houston Chapter learning events will be announced soon.

ACAMS Houston Chapter Networking Event

The ACAMS Houston Chapter invites you to attend our Networking Event

**No event registration required**

Keeping Sanctions Management Current and Robust

ACAMS Houston Chapter presents: Luncheon Learning
Keeping Sanctions Management Current and Robust

The sanctions landscape continues to evolve and is more challenging and complex than ever before. Increasing globalization means financial institutions, money service businesses and trade industries are generally exposed to even greater sanctions risks. This session will address the following sanctions related topics:

  • General Sanctions Overview (List Basics) – Which Lists Do You Need?
  • Update of OFAC Sanctions Programs “The Politics and the Actual Changes”
  • What Should Be Checked When There Is A Match?
  • What’s New in Exam Trends “Hot Spots”


Timothy R. White, CAMS
OFAC Sanctions Specialist at TRW Sanctions Consulting

  • Has licensed AML and Sanctions Interdiction Software to over 1400 financial institutions.
  • Expert on OFAC/Sanctions issues and has addressed OFAC and BSA issues at conferences throughout the United States and internationally
    • Has published articles in;
    • ACAMS Today
    • ABA Bank Compliance Magazine
    • Western Banking Magazine
  • Member – ACAMS’ Certification Exam Task Force in 2010 and 2016.
  • 2007 – Member, working group formed by the United Nation’s Al-Qaida Taliban Sanctions monitoring team pursuant UNSCR 1735
  • 2006 – He addressed an EU-US Workshop on Financial Sanctions and Terrorist Financing in Vienna, Austria.
  • Provided training for the; Office of the Comptroller Currency and Federal Reserve Bank’s BSA/AML specialists on OFAC and BSA compliance technologies.
  • 2004 – Member, ABA’s BSA – OFAC Working Group on OFAC Examination Procedures
  • 2002 advised the FBI on interdiction software technologies
  • Chairperson 2012-2018 – West Coast AML Forum in San Francisco
  • Active certified member of ACAMS first graduating class.

Emerging Online Business Payments: Understanding the AML Framework


Melissa Strait Compliance Officer for Stripe, Inc.
Melissa Strait is the US Compliance Officer for Stripe, Inc., a San Francisco-based technology company which allows businesses to accept payments online. Prior to joining Stripe in early 2016, she was a Compliance Operations Manager for Square, Inc. At Square, she oversaw teams in San Francisco and St. Louis which handled transaction monitoring, KYC and EDD reviews, and sanctions screening. Melissa joined Square in 2013 from Kroll, Inc., where she was a Director in the Due Diligence practice. In that capacity, she managed teams producing in-depth due diligence research reports for banking and corporate clients, focused mainly in Asia and the Americas. She graduated from American University with degrees in International Studies and Spanish.

Driving Compliance and Ethics through the use of Data Analysis

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Thomas R. Fox , Attorney, International Best Selling Compliance Author
Tom Fox is the Compliance Evangelist®. He has practiced law in Houston for 35 years. He was most recently the General Counsel at Drilling Controls, Inc., a worldwide oilfield manufacturing and services company. He is now one of the country’s leading experts on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, business leadership and compliance and ethics.

Tom is the author 15 books on business leadership, compliance and ethics and corporate governance, including the international best-sellers “Lessons Learned on Compliance and Ethics” and “Best Practices Under the FCPA and Bribery Act” as well as his series Fox on Compliance. His latest book “The Complete Compliance Handbook” will be published by Compliance Week in April 2018. He writes and speaks across the globe on compliance programs.

Tom leads the social media discussion on compliance with his award-winning blog, The FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog and is the founder of the Compliance Podcast Network.

Post Hurricane Harvey Labor Trafficking Mitigation


Minal Patel Davis, Special Advisor to the Houston Mayor on Human Trafficking
Minal Patel Davis serves as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Special Advisor on Human Trafficking, the first municipal-level position of its kind in the U.S. Appointed in July 2015, Davis is charged with making a local impact on human trafficking in the 4th largest city in the U.S. from a policy-level perspective and by advancing systems change. She developed and is currently implementing Mayor Turner’s Anti-Human Trafficking Strategic Plan, which is the first comprehensive municipal response to human trafficking by a U.S. city. Davis is passionate about helping other cities in their own anti-human trafficking efforts, and has spoken on several local, national, and international panels to present the City of Houston’s approach. She is a past speaker at the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit, United States Conference of Mayors, and recently traveled to Halifax and Montreal, Canada at the request of the State Department to discuss municipal leadership in trafficking with government officials. Davis received her J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. from New York University.


The ACAMS Houston Chapter invites you to attend our Networking Event

Cyber Security Luncheon Learning

ACAMS Houston Chapter presents:

Our Expert Speaker:

Department of Homeland Security Senior Agent, Retired

The presentation examines virtual currencies and other financial products and services available through the internet; how they support a broad array of cyber financial crimes including fraud and money laundering. The relationship between these products and services and their effect on the popularity of the Dark Web is also explored.

National Security, Counterterrorism & Threat Finance Issues in Houston

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Celina Realuyo, Professor of Practice

Celina Realuyo is Professor of Practice at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University where she focuses on U.S. national security, illicit networks, transnational organized crime, counterterrorism and threat finance issues in the Americas. As a former U.S. diplomat, international banker with Goldman Sachs, U.S. counterterrorism official, and professor of international security affairs at the National Defense, Georgetown, George Washington, and Joint Special Operations Universities, Professor Realuyo has over two decades of international experience in the public, private, and academic sectors. She speaks regularly in English and Spanish on “Managing U.S. National Security in 21st Century,” “The 3 R’s: Responding to Risk with Resourcefulness,” “Following the Money Trail to Combat Terrorism, Crime, and Corruption,” and “Combating the Convergence of Illicit Networks in an Age of Globalization.” Professor Realuyo is a regular commentator in the international media, including CNN en Espanol, Deutsche Welle, Foreign Policy, Reuters, and Univision and has testified before Congress on national security, terrorism, and crime issues.

Beneficial Ownership Industry Panel


  • Christopher Barton-DeJean, VP, BSA Officer American First National Bank
  • Chad Shafferman, Financial Crime and Reputational Risk Specialist, Thomson Reuters
  • Lance Rejsek, VP, BSA/AML Officer, Prosperity Bank

ACAMS Houston Chapter presents: Luncheon Learning Beneficial Ownership Industry Panel

Beneficial ownership has come to the forefront for anti-money laundering (AML) compliance professionals around the world! Come and learn more from our Expert Panel of Speakers.

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Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Money Laundering Trends


  • Michael Sanders, DEA Resident Agent in Charge, Galveston Field Office

Houston Networking Event

Interrogation Session- Q & A’s with the IRS-CI


Aaron Gogley, IRS Special Agent, Houston Field Office

The ACAMS Houston Chapter invites you to attend our Networking Event

ACAMS Houston Chapter presents Fighting Payments Fraud: EMV, Mobile and Beyond

ACAMS Houston Chapter 3 Year Anniversary Dinner and Second Quarter Learning Event “Crossing Industry Lines – The AML Environment in Houston!”

Panelist included:

  • Alberto Laureano – CEO Barri Financial Group
  • Sandy Lenior – Associate Director of Financial Crimes Compliance Macquarie Group

Calling ALL Houston BSA/ AML Professionals: Pump Up Your Career!

Networking Event

Law Enforcement Money Laundering Investigations

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

Networking Event

2014 AML Monitoring: Perspectives and Best Practices

The Impact of Non-Traditional Financial Systems and the Internet on Homeland Security

Securities Fraud Presentation

Cyber Fraud and Corporate Account Take Over

Networking Event at The Blue Fish on Washington

An IRS perspective on the new SAR Report

Lauren Sparks

Lauren Sparks, CAMS
Third Party Resources, Inc./3PR Inc.

Lauren Sparks is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) with over 30 years in community banking. For 16 years, Ms Sparks practiced community bank risk management in the Southwest area, administering consumer compliance, internal audit programs and training in the risk management discipline. She is the President of Third Party Resources, Inc., a Houston-based bank consulting firm.

Previously she acted as National Director in Risk Management Services for Sheshunoff Consulting + Solutions, a national consulting firm. There she provided risk management services, specializing in special projects and high-risk engagements. She also served as the Southwest Director at that firm.

In addition to her CRCM, Ms Sparks holds the designation of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS). Ms Sparks has presented at the ABA National Compliance Conference and at the NACHA Payments Conference. Lauren holds an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) designation, and has written articles for various banking organizations and publications. Most recently she has edited the 2010 -2017 editions of the ABA Regulatory Guide to Regulatory Compliance publication.

Email: lsparks@3princ.com

Christopher Barton-DeJean

Christopher Barton-DeJean

American First National Bank

Christopher Barton-DeJean is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) with over 20 years in the banking industry. He also holds and maintains Certification as a Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM). For 13 years, Mr. Barton-DeJean practiced different facets of retail banking and subsequently transitioned to community banking. He has a demonstrated ability to remediate and resolve regulatory exam findings and alleviate written agreements and orders. He currently serves as a Vice President with American First National Bank, a Houston-based Community Bank.

Currently, he performs duties as the bank’s BSA Officer. His responsibilities include effectively performing as the BSA Officer, and managing regulatory risks which includes developing and maintaining comprehensive programs on all new regulations and changes to existing regulations to ensure compliance.
Previously, he performed at CommunityBank of Texas, N.A. as the bank’s Sr. BSA Administrator and Vendor Management Officer. His responsibilities included effectively performing as the BSA Officer, and managing regulatory risks related to Vendor Management.

Prior to his role at CommunityBank of Texas, N.A. (formerly known as Vista Bank Texas), Christopher served as the BSA Officer for Patriot Bank. Prior to his role at Patriot Bank he served as a risk manager and fraud prevention analyst with JP Morgan Chase. Christopher’s tenure at JP Morgan Chase also included roles managing Demand Deposit Account Collections, Foreign Currency Services, Small Business Financial Services and Loan Customer Service.

Christopher holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

Email: Christopherb@afnb.com

Joann Alicea

Joann Alicea, CFCI, CHTI
Communications Director
Senior Compliance Officer
JPMorgan Chase

Joann Alicea, Certified Financial Crimes Investigator and Certified Human Trafficking Investigator. Joann has received commendations for excellent investigative work from the United States Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for assisting in domestic and international fraud/money laundering cases. Joann has written three published articles entitled: $5.00 to ruin the life of children, and women: Internet ad sites used to launder money in promoting prostitution/human trafficking, How you can help in the fight against human trafficking and United States Treasury FinCEN SAR Checkbox for Human Trafficking published in the 23rd edition of the SAR Activity Review Trends, Tips and Issues. Joann is also a public speaker on how Financial Crime Investigators fight Human Trafficking; Updating the FinCEN SAR for Human Trafficking and Victim Money Laundering Scams.

She has over 10 years of regulatory compliance Fraud/AML & Risk experience in monitoring bank accounts, merchant, cardholder credit card and prepaid card transactions as an employee of First Data Merchant Services, PreCash, Inc. & JPMorgan Chase. Joann is a recipient of the First Data Leader of the Pack Award & the PreCash Dazzle Award for outstanding work. She is a member of the IAFCI, ACAMS & InfraGard. Joann is the proud sister of an NYPD Detective, New York’s Finest. Joann is one of the Women showcased in ACAMS Today for being influential in AML and Fraud Crime Prevention. Please see link: http://www.acamstoday.org/women-aml-showcase/

Joann is a recipient of the ACFE Houston Chapter 2013 Service Appreciation Award for Fighting Human Trafficking and the JPMorgan Chase Employee of the Quarter Award for going Above and Beyond. Joann has completed 20 marathons including 16 NYC Marathons and is an advocate of children and women’s rights in helping in the fight to end human trafficking.

Please check out Joann’s Interview in ACAMS Today on Human Trafficking/Smuggling: Joann Alicea: The Fight Against Human Trafficking/Smuggling Continues http://www.acamstoday.org/joann-alicea-the-fight-against-human-traffickingsmuggling-continues

Email: joann.alicea@chase.com

Derrick Zett

Derrick Zett
Co-Communications Director
Account Director-Thomson Reuters

Derrick is an Account Director in the division of Financial and Risk for Thomson Reuters. He is a former Director of Sales for Stratos Legal and US Legal Support. With over 19 years of experience in the the legal industry, Derrick spent 12 years with Equivalent Data where he was responsible for managing a team of fourteen. Prior to his legal career, he worked four summers with the Southwestern Company. He earned numerous awards during this time at the Southwestern Company, including President’s Club, Top First Year Rep, Top Recruiter, Gold Seal Gold Award, and many more.

Derrick was graduated from Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Economics. He currently lives in Spring, Texas with his wife. Derrick is very involved with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. He has served on the Safety committee for 9 years.

Donna Flowers

Donna Flowers
Co-Membership Director
Icon Bank

Donna Flowers has been a Houston area Community banker for over 30 years with experience in Compliance Management, Audit, Lending, Marketing/Business Development, Branch Management and extensive experience in working with regulators. She is currently Senior Vice President/Compliance/BSA/CRA Officer with Icon Bank where she develops and administers all aspects of the bank’s Compliance Management Program.

She is also a board member/Secretary of the Westchase Management District, an Advisory Board member of the Houston Community College- Finance/Banking Division and Co-Chair of the Education Committee Financial Women in Texas (FWIT).

Donna is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), Certified Financial Marketing Professional (CFMP) and is currently studying for the Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) certification.

Email: dflowers@iconbanktx.com

Nidhi Patel

Nidhi Patel, CAMS

Nidhi serves as the compliance officer for First Investors Financial Services Houston operations. Her responsibilities include creating compliance policies and procedures and integrating them into operational procedures and assisting with training. Nidhi has substantial consumer finance compliance experience. She recently served as the Director of Regulatory Compliance for Precash and, prior to that, was serving as the BSA/AML Officer for Santander for over six years. In that role, she developed and implemented policies, procedures, and controls, creating AML governance structures, established risk assessment and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) protocols, developed transaction monitoring capabilities and AML training for all associates.

Nidhi earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Houston, majoring in Finance and was recently accepted into the Strategic Masters of Business Administration at the University of Houston. She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).

Email: nidhipatel04@gmail.com

Kenneth Call

Kenneth Call
Co-Programming Director
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Kenneth is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) with 10 years of BSA/AML, Sanctions and Anti-Bribery/Corruption experience. He currently serves as a Vice President with JPMorgan Chase and Company.

Kenneth joined JPMorgan Chase and Company in December of 2012, where he joined the Global Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption Compliance (GFCAC) Testing function. Since joining GFCAC Testing, Kenneth has assisted or led reviews of various BSA/AML risks and controls regarding SARs, CTRs, Sanctions, and Bribery/Anti-Corruption. Prior to joining JPMC, Kenneth was the Anti-Money Laundering Manager for Woodforest National Bank, where he oversaw a team of AML investigators which completed all AML reviews prior to SAR completion. He also oversaw the Bank’s completion of CTRs, Sanctions Screening, 314a and law enforcement follow-up requests.

Kenneth holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. While completing this degree he also minored in history and psychology.

Email: kenneth.g.call@jpmchase.com

Stephanie McCann

Stephanie McCann
Amegy Bank

Stephanie McCann is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (CAMS) with over 15 years in the banking industry. Ms. McCann currently serves as Vice President and BSA Compliance Officer for Amegy Bank, a division of ZB, N.A., a position she has held for almost 10 years.

Prior to joining Amegy in 2007, Ms. McCann served as BSA Officer for Woodforest Bank. In addition to regulatory experience, Ms. McCann has served in various roles in Retail Banking including Branch Manager. She also has experience in branch auditing, risk management, training and recruiting.

Ms. McCann holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting from the University of Houston. When not working, Ms. McCann enjoys reading and spending time with her rescue dogs, Milo and Molly.

Tay Shah

Tay Shah
Membership Co-Chair
Thomson Reuters

Tay is an Account Executive in the Legal division for Thomson Reuters. He was born and raised in the UK, London and graduated from the University of London with 1st Class honors. He subsequently worked in the private banking space and later moved to the UAE for a 4 year stint in the financial risk space. He earned a number of awards whilst in the UAE including top newcomer to Vista Equity Partners. After marrying a Houstonian, he moved to Houston, Texas in 2015 and provides due diligence solutions from Thomson Reuters to corporate clientele throughout the State.

Tay intends to achieve the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist certification in the near future and learn Spanish alongside the four languages he knows currently.

Aydee De Leon

Aydee De Leon
Co-programming Director

Aydee De Leon is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) who is bilingual in English and Spanish. She has over ten years of operational banking experience at large regional financial institutions in Texas. Her professional development has included the Texas Bankers Association Compliance School 2014, ACAMS AML & Financial Crime Conference, and various seminars and webinars on BSA/AML risk topics. Over the past five years, Aydee has performed internal controls audits, compliance audits, and AML software model validations for community banks of all asset sizes including higher risk institutions located on the U.S./Mexico border.