Volunteer of the Year Award 2017
Nominating Organization: Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC)
San Diego, California
Michael Messier is an outstanding volunteer whose work with Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC) has played an active role in anti-money laundering and combatting terrorist financing (AML/CFT) in Africa and the Middle East. Mr. Messier completed four assignments with FSVC, traveling to Uganda, the United Arab Emirates and twice to Jordan. He brings extensive professional experience to his assignments, with over fifteen years as US Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent, to include six years working in Mexico City coordinating significant drug and money laundering investigations and enforcement operations with the Government of Mexico. He also spent five years at Bank of America in Mexico City as a Managing Director, where he developed and led the Latin American region under Global Financial Crimes & Compliance.
Mr. Messier created and delivered training sessions for government officials and compliance executives, which covered pertinent Financial Action Task Force (FATF) country mutual evaluations and operational reports, as well as an actual money laundering case study. Officials in Dubai stated that Mr. Messier’s case study was one of the most practical and advanced investigative sessions they had ever attended. In Jordan and Dubai, his efforts led to each country exploring the development of a Terrorism Task Force, where investigators and prosecutors would effectively utilize available sources of intelligence afforded by government agencies. Mr. Messier’s efforts also contributed in part to Jordan expanding their AML regulations requiring financial institutions to perform risk-based approach due-diligence on non-governmental organizations. During his volunteer assignment in Uganda, Mr. Messier trained regulators and representatives from forex bureaus and money remitters on AML/CFT supervision and compliance. This training was particularly important to safeguarding the Ugandan financial sector, as the cash-based nature of forex bureaus and the regulatory challenges makes them more vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing risks. The week following the training, public announcements were printed in local newspapers, which cautioned the public on the risks of using unlicensed forex bureaus.
As a testament to Mr. Messier’s commitment to his volunteer work, he has stayed in contact with the people he partnered with while on volunteer assignments, developing long term relationships with them as he continues to be a valuable source of information.
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