The “Certificate in Performing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Investigations” is a comprehensive program designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively combat money laundering and terrorist financing activities. This course delves into the key concepts of money laundering and terrorist financing, providing a solid foundation for understanding their implications in today’s financial landscape. Students will explore the stages of money laundering and terrorist financing, gaining insights into how criminal entities exploit financial systems and how these activities can be detected and prevented.
Module 1 introduces students to the fundamentals of money laundering, terrorist financing, and the crucial role of investigations in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance. Students will learn the importance of periodic reviews and case-to-case investigations, which play a critical role in maintaining AML program compliance. The module also includes a case study analyzing a FinCEN Alert on potential U.S. commercial real estate investments, allowing students to gain practical insights into real-world scenarios.
In Module 2, students will focus on the planning phase of AML investigations. This module emphasizes the significance of regular monitoring of transactions and activities, and how research plays a pivotal role in planning effective investigations. Students will learn to assess risks related to channels, products, delivery, and customers to develop a risk-based investigation program. A case study on FinCEN Red Flags alerts related to potential Russian sanctions evasion attempts further reinforces the concepts covered in this module.
Module 3 concentrates on the actual process of conducting AML investigations. Students will explore the planning involved in both onsite and off-site investigations. The module covers the initial off-site AML assessment of transactions under investigation, as well as the evidence-gathering process. Students will learn to review transactions under investigation and link them with evidence and risk profiles, enabling them to build a comprehensive investigation approach. A case study on the rise in ransomware reporting in BSA filings provides a practical context to this module’s learning.
In Module 4, students will learn about the conclusion and reporting stages of AML investigations. The module highlights the ML/TF risks addressed through these investigations and trains students in preparing investigations reports. Students will also gain an understanding of the final review process by a Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) and learn to conclude on suspicious transactions and activities for reporting purposes. The module covers both internal reporting of suspicious transactions by the MLRO and the external reporting of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to Financial Intelligence Units (FIU). A case study showcasing how SAR filing resulted in arrests related to drug trafficking and money laundering offers practical insights into this crucial aspect of AML investigations.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be equipped with the essential skills to perform AML investigations effectively, contributing to a safer and more secure financial system.