ACAMS San Diego Baja California Chapter


Upcoming Event

Upcoming San Diego and Baja California Chapter learning events will be announced soon.

San Diego- Baja California Chapter Board

San Diego- Baja California Chapter Board (left to right) Peter Alvarado, Co- Membership & Communications Director; Natalie Soto, Events & Programming Director; Karen Geno, Secretary & Treasurer; Melissa Triplett, Co-Chair; Terry Jones, Chair; Maria Alvarez, Co-Events & Programming Director; Justin Hardin, Membership & Communications Director (this was taken at the 2nd Annual Financial Crimes Forum)

The Chapter’s role is to provide specialized support, guidance and education to BSA/AML/ professionals in the greater San Diego and Baja California area in an effort to create a network of knowledgeable, motivated and proficient BSA/AML experts.

Upcoming San Diego and Baja California Chapter learning events will be announced soon.

MSB’s, Banking & Regulations: Staying Banked & Compliance Strong

RMF Flyer

Human Trafficking Learning Event

Ronald McDonald House Charities

Please join us to help serve meals to families at Ronald McDonald House in San Diego California.

We need:

  • Food Preparers
  • Cooks
  • Servers
  • Cleaners/Bussers
  • Donations

3rd Annual Financial Crimes Forum

Please join the ACAMS San Diego-Baja California Chapter for our 3rd Annual Financial Crimes Forum.

This full day educational event will include AML hot topics such as human trafficking, marijuana banking, SAR projections, cryptocurrencies, fraud identification via the dark web, cyber crime, regulator panels, case studies, and casino trends. Take advantage of valuable networking opportunities where you can meet like-minded AML professionals from across the financial industry.

Full agenda coming soon.

Hot Topics in BSA/AML Roundtable

9/11 – 18 years later! – Let’s share Best Practices and Experience/Lessons learned from 9/11 (Vulnerabilities and Threats we face). Areas of discussion include SAR narratives, Model and Data Validations, Customer Risk Rating Methodology, and Risk Assessments.

AML Real Estate Round Up

Please join the ACAMS San Diego-Baja California Chapter for presentations on recent developments and hot topics in the real estate industry.

Human Trafficking Lunch & Learn

The ACAMS San Diego – Baja California Chapter supports Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Ronald McDonald House Meal

ACAMS San Diego- Baja California Chapter Ronald McDonald House Meal.

Let’s prepare and serve a meal at Ronald McDonald House San Diego!

Feeding 200 families takes an army! We will need to purchase, prepare, and serve the meal in addition to cleaning up once dinner has ended.

2nd Annual Financial Crimes Forum

Please join the ACAMS San Diego-Baja California Chapter for our 2nd Annual Financial Crimes Forum. This full day educational event will contain multi institution AML hot topics which include MSB AML Best Practices, Casino/Card Room Transaction Monitoring, Crypto Currency, OFAC/Sanctions Compliance, and Real-life Case Studies on emerging financial crimes from agencies including IRS-CI, USAO. Take advantage of valuable networking opportunities where you can meet like-minded AML professionals from across the financial industry. Full agenda and registration information coming soon.

Law Enforcement Roundtable

The San Diego-Baja California Chapter will be hosting a half-day education event. Law Enforcement representatives from IRS-CI, DCIS, USPIS, DEA, FBI, and HSI will be presenting on current trends and answering audience questions.

Cannabis Chaos – The Cole Memo has been rescinded, now what?

Please join the ACAMS San Diego-Baja California Chapter for a half-day event to tackle the complex environment of cannabis cash. Hear from industry experts, featuring a panel discussion from a diverse group of institutions on how they are handling MRBs.

Final Rule: Final Countdown

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued its final rule for Customer Due Diligence (CDD) under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) for banks and other covered financial institutions. Are you ready? Here is your final chance to ask the regulators about the upcoming regulatory changes.

Presented by:

Human Trafficking: Law Enforcement Perspective and Prevention

Please join the ACAMS San Diego-Baja California Chapter for a learning event to educate the industry on the dark reality of Human Trafficking. Presenting will be members of law enforcement. Subjects include how criminal organization operate, the cross boarder perspective, and how financial institutions can play a role in combating these activities and detect signs of Human Trafficking.

Community Service at Ronald McDonald House

Due Diligence and Investigations Forum

The ACAMS San Diego- Baja California Chapter is pleased to partner with Abrigo and Seacoast Commerce Bank for a one day learning event that will focus on SARs as they relate to Law Enforcement, Identity Theft Case Studies and a CDD workshop.

Please join us as experts from the United States Attorney’s Office and IRS Criminal Investigations conduct an in-depth discussion and share case studies from SARs and Identity Theft. Additionally, we will have an informative and interactive CDD workshop led by experts from Abrigo. Come listen and learn to ensure that your institution is on track to guarantee success across all the affected business lines. This one day learning event is geared towards both AML professionals and Bank Operations personnel.


  • Daniel Silva, AUSA
  • Maria A. Alvarez, IRS-CI
  • Cherry Jimenez, IRS-CI
  • Jessica Caballero, Bankers Toolbox


ACAMS San Diego-Baja California Chapter Launch Event

Come join us to celebrate the start of a new ACAMS Chapter regionally focused on the BSA/AML/Title 31 needs of the San Diego and Baja California area. Come enjoy a sip with a hosted happy hour at Paradise Point Hotel & Spa!

Terry Jones

Terry Jones, CAMS
Chapter Chairman

Terry Jones, a seasoned professional serving financial institutions for over 20 years. Terry has been working in the BSA/AML area for the last 18 years. Prior to BSA, Terry worked in Branch Operations.

Terry has worked with Abrigo, serving various positions as Trainer, Managing Relationships and as a Senior National Risk Manager. Prior to Abrigo, Terry worked as an Operations Officer and BSA Manager at Rabobank and Valley Independent Bank, Crocker Bank, Imperial Valley National Bank. Terry is experienced in branch operations as well as managing Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering responsibilities.

Terry received her CAMS certification in 2004 and maintains the certification by attending various conferences and training opportunities.


Melissa Triplett

Melissa Triplett, CAMS-Audit
Vice President, Deputy BSA Officer
Pacific Western Bank

Melissa Triplett is currently the Vice President, Assistant BSA Officer for Pacific Western Bank. She has more than 18 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry. Melissa has significant experience in AML and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) laws, regulations, and best practices.

Prior to joining Pacific Western Bank, Melissa held the positions of Vice President BSA Officer at California Business Bank and Assistant Vice President BSA Analyst at Seacoast Commerce Bank. Previous to that, Melissa held Operations and Management positions at Union Bank of California and North Island Credit Union. For the last two years Melissa has been the Programming Director for the ACAMS Southern California Chapter. As Programming Director, she identified, developed, and promoted educational and networking programs to industry experts and law enforcement professionals in the AML and CTF fields.

Melissa also serves as the President of the Abrigo West Coast User Group and played a pivotal role in the group’s implementation. She has been a member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) since 2013 and has been a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) since March 2014.


Karen Geno

Karen Geno, CAMS
Secretary & Treasurer
Geno Management Advisory Services

Karen Geno is the principal/owner of Geno Management Advisory Services, and has consulted and performed audits in lending and operational compliance areas, including BSA, since 1987. She also handles litigation support work, including expert witness testimony, for bank related matters. Prior to 1987, Ms. Geno served as Chief Auditor for a multi-bank holding company in San Diego, and was an FDIC Bank Examiner from 1975 to 1984. Ms. Geno earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Virginia (UVA), an MBA in Finance from National University, and graduated from the Graduate School of Bank Management at UVA. She received her CAMS certification in 2012.


Justin Hardin

Justin Hardin, CAMS
Pala Casino Spa and Resort
Chapter Membership & Communications Director

Justin Hardin is the AML and Compliance Manager for Pala Casino Spa Resort in Northern San Diego County. He has been in Tribal Gaming for 15 years and has been head of AML Compliance at Pala Casino for 5 years. Justin has experience with all aspects of Casino Operations with frontline management experience. He has an expertise in Bank Secrecy Act, Anti-Money-Laundering, Tribal-State Gaming Compacts, NIGC Minimum Internal Controls Standards (Class II and Class III), Guest Service, Slot Operations, Tribal Internal Controls Standards, Policy and Procedures, Title 26 Compliance, and Project Management. Justin was CAMS certified in 2016. He loves cats but is allergic to cats.


Peter Alvarado

Peter Alvarado
Co-Chapter Membership & Communications Director
San Manuel Casino

Peter is the Casino Compliance Officer for the San Manuel Casino (the “Casino”). Leading a Compliance Department, Peter oversees compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act, anti-money laundering regulations as well as other federal and state regulatory requirements. Peter brings over 20 years of experience in the investigation and regulatory areas of anti-money laundering, financial crimes and economic sanctions.

Prior to joining the Casino in May 2016, Peter was with Deloitte’s AML and economic sanctions practice. He advised clients on BSA/AML/OFAC matters relating to banks, casinos and money service businesses. He is also the former Deputy Director at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), where he provided operational leadership across all the core mission activities relating to compliance, enforcement, policy and financial intelligence. Prior to FinCEN, Peter held numerous senior level positions at the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. In these positions he directed and oversaw investigations relating to criminal tax violations, money laundering, BSA laws, and related financial crimes.

Peter is a CAMS certified and a licensed attorney (California & Washington, DC). He is also a frequent conference speaker on AML matters, and has published articles on BSA/AML matters.

Natalie Soto

Natalie Soto, CAMS, CFE
Pacific Western Bank
Events & Programming Director

Natalie Soto is presently the Vice President, Assistant BSA Officer at Pacific Western Bank. Natalie is an active member of the InfraGard Program (a FBI-affiliated nonprofit organization dedicated to critical infrastructure protection) at the San Diego Chapter, the Associate of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) San Diego Chapter, and the California Financial Crimes Investigators Association (CFCIA) San Diego Division. Natalie is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) since 2017 through the globally recognized organization ACFE. She also holds the CFI designation (Certified Fraud Investigator) through CFCIA since 2015.

Prior to joining Pacific Western Bank, she was the Vice President, BSA & OFAC Officer at Seacoast Commerce Bank, a $1B bank headquartered in San Diego, CA. Natalie was previously the AVP, Assistant BSA Officer at Vibra Bank, and also worked at Regents Bank and San Diego Private Bank in BSA/AML compliance and operational roles. She has substantial banking experience in retail banking, community banking, border banking, operational and lending compliance, and in BSA/AML/OFAC, dating back to 2003 when she began her banking career.

Natalie has been a member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) since 2013 and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) since 2014. Natalie joined the Board of the ACAMS Southern California Chapter in 2015 and served as the Communications Director for 2.5 years prior to forming the ACAMS San Diego – Baja CA Chapter in 2017. Natalie obtained her Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation through the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) in 2017.

She also served as the VP/Treasurer for the Banker’s Toolbox West Coast Regional User Group Conference from 2015 – 2019. Natalie attended San Diego State University where she studied English and Comparative Literature and wrote for the school newspaper, The Daily Aztec, from 2000 through 2005.


Maria Alvarez

Maria Alvarez
Co-Events & Programming Director