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SightSpan Offers One Week of Free Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Training to New IAFCI Conference Registrants

For a limited time, SightSpan, a global risk management and compliance service provider for the financial services industry, is offering one week of free online AML training (through the month of November) to anyone that registers for the upcoming International Association of

 Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI) show November 18-19 at Myrtle Beach, SC.

Financial crime professionals that attend the IAFCI show will learn the latest on Social Media investigations, Bitcoin risk management, threat financing and much more.  The regional training seminar is also valuable networking event for those in the financial services industry.

To view the full agenda or register for the event, go to

To take advantage of SightSpan’s free training offer, registrants should send their IAFCI confirmation code to  One week of AML training will be available to you through Nov 30, 2013 and you’ll have an opportunity to take a final exam and receive a completion certificate at the end of the process.

SightSpan subject matter experts design AML/CTF, Sanctions and Compliance training classes for governments and private sector institutions throughout the world including Southeast Asia, The United States and the GCC Region. SightSpan is experienced in training financial firm executives and government officials in international and local Anti-Money Laundering rules and regulations, and investigation processes using real life cases and examples.  The SightSpan AML training team averages 25 years of experience within the AML profession. SightSpan is a recognized ACAMS Trainer and prepares AML professionals worldwide for CAMS Certification Exams and Advanced AML Training.


CEO Talks about SightSpan’s Expertise

John Walsh, CEO talks about SightSpan’s expertise in financial services compliance and why banks choose to work with its experts over those at larger consulting firms. SightSpan provides anti-fraud, AML and compliance products and services to the financial services industry – to both private firms and public agencies and governments. SightSpan works with most of the large global banks and even more small and mid-sized organizations. They are unmatched when it comes to cost-efficiency, financial crimes expertise and managing complex and sensitive projects in a quick and quiet manner.

You can learn more about SightSpan at

ACFCS confronts global issue of ‘Threat Finance’ by launching Special Task Force

Task Force led by PwC Forensics director, Marissa Michel, a former US intelligence officer

The Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists today announced the launch of a Task Force on Threat Finance to be chaired by Marissa O. Michel, a Forensics Services director in PwC’s Advisory practice. She previously served as an intelligence officer for a United States agency focused on counter narcotics and money laundering.

The term “threat finance” encompasses all of the means and methods used by worldwide organizations to finance activities that threaten the national security of the US and other countries. It includes the illicit finances of foreign corruption, human trafficking, drug trafficking, trafficking in nuclear materials, weapons of mass destruction and chemical weapons, foreign corruption, organized crime and, of course, terrorism. 

“Threat finance is the crystallization of the decade-long evolution of the attack by legitimate society, including government agencies, financial institutions and commercial corporations, against the many menaces that plague nations and their people today,” said Charles A. Intriago, president of ACFCS and a former US federal prosecutor. “By launching its first Task Force devoted to one of mankind’s most important challenges, ACFCS makes clear that setting standards of knowledge and skill for persons devoted to fighting financial crime is its primary mission.”

PwC director Marissa Michel said, “Effective threat management happens at the strategy level, as the interconnectedness of threats and the ability to prevent companies from achieving their goals, requires a cross-company response. Threat finance is a perfect example of this – it crosses threat areas like organized crime, corruption, and cyber, and can impact your company’s financial records and reporting, supply chain integrity, physical security, and information security controls – all of which leads to financial, reputational, and safety risks. It is not a threat limited to the government space, nor to financial institutions only.

“The ACFCS Task Force on Threat Finance will serve as a resource to the global private and public sector financial crime control community in its combat of these grave national security threats,” Intriago ended. “We are privileged to have such an experienced professional as Marissa Michel leading this important effort alongside an all-star team of ACFCS Task Force members, who each possess great expertise in combating threat finance in diverse private and public sector organizations.”

ACFCS Task Force on Threat Finance

Marissa O. Michel, PwC’s Advisory Forensic Services, Washington, DC

A Forensics Services director in PwC’s Advisory practice , her work in Threat Finance helps companies uncover illicit money flows, identify third parties or insiders who may be exploiting corporate systems, and facilitate remediation if illicit funds or actors are found. She also advises clients on organizational changes that can be made to shore against threat finance and money laundering vulnerabilities. She has led engagements that helped uncover gaps in client preparedness and compliance; assisted clients in conducting research on third parties; and assisted clients in assessing risks to help clients identify where they should focus their limited resources. She joined PwC from a global investment bank, where she was the deputy global head of an operational risk management team. Previously, she served as an intelligence officer for the US Government for six years, focusing on counter narcotics and money laundering analysis.

Joseph ‘JR’ Helmig, Leveraged Outcomes LLC, Washington, DC
Founder of Leveraged Outcomes LLC, he is a thought leader in the financial, analytical, and intelligence fields with expertise in big data, high-speed high-volume operations, and illicit finance. He has successfully identified, created and delivered solutions to Fortune 50 executives, as well as to the senior executive service, senior leader/technical and director levels of the US Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury and intelligence agencies. Previously, he was a principal at Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions practice where he designed an entity resolution and financial intelligence capability. He has also served as a senior adviser for program planning and coordination at the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), where he was a key part of the multiyear modernization of the agency’s technology, data, and analytical capabilities.

Donald C. Semesky, Financial Operations Consultants, Baltimore
The widely-acclaimed architect of pursuit structures and procedures to attack money laundering, he conceived and developed the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Financial Operations where he launched initiatives that led to the forfeiture of more than $1.7 billion from drug trafficking organizations worldwide. He boasts decades of law enforcement experience, including service as a Special Agent of the US Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. Now a private sector consultant and advisor, he is the principal of Financial Operations Consultants, LLC in Washington DC, and often testifies as an expert witness in federal courtrooms throughout the United States.

Delena D. Spann, US Secret Service, Chicago
A Special Agent of the US Secret Service, she is a senior member of the Electronic and Financial Crimes Task Force. A financial analysis expert in commodity flow and net worth analysis, she often serves in high impact financial crime cases involving the analysis of voluminous transactions and use of a wide range of other sources and data to establish patterns of crime. Her expertise includes processing complicated sources of information and interpreting it clearly and concisely to enhance the prosecution of criminal cases. She is the author of Fraud Analytics: Strategies and Methods for Detection & Prevention.

John F. Walsh, SightSpan Inc., Charlotte 
An industry leader in financial crime risk management, financial institution and corporate security, anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing, he founded SightSpan Inc, in 2007, and serves as CEO. He has held several high-level positions in the financial services industry, including leadership roles at Wachovia Bank, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and international trading entities. With more than 25 years of experience in the financial services sector in the US and the Middle East, Europe and Latin America, his expertise and insight into international business management, compliance, security and overall operational risk management distinguish him as a leader in financial crime detection and control.


 ACFCS awards the Certified Financial Crime Specialist (CFCS) certification to qualified specialists who pass a rigorous examination offered at some 700 authorized testing centers worldwide. ACFCS provides its worldwide members and other financial crime specialists with training, including an annual conference, news, analysis and networking. The CFCS certification is the first professional credential that tests competence and skill across the financial crime spectrum, including money laundering, corruption, tax evasion-FATCA and other fields. Persons in 56 countries have earned the certification or are registered to take the CFCS certification examination.

Visit for more information.

Navigating Learning Curve of the Birth Year and Beyond

Today’s parents face challenges unlike any generation before.

They’re greeted by an avalanche of conflicting information. There’s much to learn about your body, transitioning friendships and relationship, not to mention education on parenting and care methods, gadgets, and more.jennbabyinside

Experts and businesses vie for one’s attention and dollars, and it is difficult to know which advice to trust. This has given rise to the “Birth” and “Mommy” Wars – a natural response to conflicting information in a climate where one must keep up with the Joneses while always seeking that “one right answer” they learned through years of schooling must magically exist. The result? Serious stress!

Parents bump into a lot of dogma in terms of birth options, be it allopathic (“The epidural is the answer!”) or Natural Childbirth (“All doctors, hospitals, and especially that epidural, are evil!”). Most know there must be more to it, yet when experts weigh in on both sides with equally compelling information, neither quite resounds with most parents. Parenting choices are similarly complex.

So, they turn to friends and family for advice, only to find more turmoil and disagreement there!

Reality hits: Every choice they are about to make carries political and personal statements. The pressure is on. No matter which path they choose, which options they embrace, they will be judged by others.

The only sane recourse is to choose what ‘‘best fits” one’s family and needs, regardless of what anyone else thinks. How though, to best determine that?

It isn’t easy. Plus it feels important to get this right, a baby is depending on you.

They key is to remember to stay true to yourself. What’s right for another family may not be right for you. There’s no cookie-cutter solution. Just like there is no ‘perfect’ labor. We all arrive at our journey from a different starting point, and from different circumstances. It should be a red flag when someone insists their way is the only way. The only best way is that which best serves your family.

Many are turning to birth support personnel to guide them while providing hands-on comfort and support during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period.press_kit_3

You must be selective when choosing a support person. The key is to retain someone who won’t foist their agenda on you, but rather support you in finding your own custom solutions and path. A Momdoulary Certified Professional is educated as birth, postpartum, and antepartum doulas, as well as in areas of childbirth education, parent preparation coaching, and family lifestyle organizing – all from a space that is free of judgment. They will never tell you what you should choose, but rather help you understand and assess the options,then support you on implementation. Again, having support in your corner, designed to support you in assessing your needs from an objective place, is a gift most parents need.

Regardless of whether you on-board help or not, you must determine how you plan to navigate what will become the biggest learning curve of your life. Doing so early in your pregnancy will help you more calmly ride through the information storm coming your way. Act early and well, to create the smoothest transition into a wonderful new phase of life for you and your growing family.

Startup Advice: When to Monetize

eXprtViews had the opportunity to sit down with Jake Dunlap, CEO of Skaled consulting.  He shares his top-tips for startups on when to begin to monetize your site – for B2C and B2B. Skaled helps startups scale their sales, marketing and business development by providing strategic and operational support.

Dunlap works with many startups to help guide them to making money. He suggests that each situation is different, but there are some general guidelines for both B2C and B2B startup businesses – including building great content and defining key target markets.

Check out Skaled at or contact them at

Mark Zuckerberg Shares Thoughts at Startup School

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, at Y Combinator Startup School sharing his perspective on creating a company.

This piece was presented in Stanford Memorial Auditorium by Y Combinator and the Stanford Technology Ventures Program.

AOL Chief Apologizes Over Firing of Worker


Tim Armstrong
Tim Armstrong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of AOL, issued an unusual apology on Tuesday to his entire staff for the public manner in which he fired an employee during an internal conference call last Friday.

A recording of the firing was leaked to news outlets and caused a firestorm around Mr. Armstrong, who has been trying to turn AOL from a struggling Internet portal into a successful media company.

The four-paragraph statement, sent to AOL employees at 4:30 p.m. and obtained by The New York Times, said, “I am writing you to acknowledge the mistake I made last Friday during the Patch all-hands meeting when I publicly fired Abel Lenz. It was an emotional response at the start of a difficult discussion dealing with many people’s careers and livelihoods. I am the C.E.O. and leader of the organization, and I take that responsibility seriously.”

The firing took place during a conference call with more than 1,000 employees of Patch, the local news service AOL runs for hundreds of towns. Mr. Armstrong had convened the meeting to emphasize the direness of Patch’s circumstances and prepare the staff for coming layoffs and management changes.

“If you think what is going on right now is a joke, and you want to joke around about it, you should pick your stuff up and leave Patch today,” Mr. Armstrong told the employees.

But right after that statement he can be heard reprimanding Mr. Lenz, Patch’s creative director, who was videotaping the meeting, then firing him.

“Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you’re fired. Out!” Five seconds later, to stunned silence, he proceeded with his message.

In his letter to the staff, Mr. Armstrong further explained the reason for the firing, saying confidential meetings should not be recorded and that Mr. Lenz had been warned previously not to make recordings. AOL said that Mr. Lenz would not be hired back but that Mr. Armstrong had contacted him to apologize.

AOL has spent hundreds of millions on the Patch service, but has acknowledged being disappointed with its financial performance. During a call with analysts last week Mr. Armstrong said he would sell off or seek partners for as many as 400 of Patch’s 900 local sites, a move that could result in hundreds of layoffs.

The extent of the layoffs are expected to be announced internally on Thursday or Friday.

This article originally appeared here.