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Law school launches new Executive Master’s Degree in Financial Integrity

Fueled by demand for senior anti-money laundering/financial crime-prevention professionals
Dena Cipriano  /  Thursday, November 3, 2016  /  Categories: In Brief, Issue 99, Fall 2016  /  Rate this article:
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Case Western Reserve University School of Law added a new executive master’s degree program in financial integrity, inspired by increasing demand by financial institutions and government agencies for anti-money laundering experts.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates the amount of money laundered globally ranges from $800 billion to $2 trillion per year.

Regulatory demands for improved efforts to counter money laundering as well as the financing of terrorism and the evasion of financial sanctions are fueling the need for superior compliance experts.

The Executive Master of Arts in Financial Integrity (MAFI) will begin in the fall, directed by Professor Richard Gordon, associate director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center and director of the law school’s Financial Integrity Institute.

“We are excited to be able to offer a new master’s degree in this cutting-edge area of law,” said Co-Deans Jessica Berg and Michael Scharf.
The 16-month executive program is designed for students with at least three years of experience in financial integrity practice or a related field. Courses will be team taught by academics and senior experts from government, the private sector and international organizations over a series of three-day weekends.

A key part of the program is a supervised capstone research project that addresses a current problem in the student’s practice to be presented to a panel of senior regulatory and law enforcement officials.

Classes will be held in Cleveland, with capstone presentations in Washington, D.C.

“We are bringing together some of the best practitioners and academics in the world to teach in this program,” said Gordon, a former senior counsel and senior financial sector expert for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Following the 9/11 attacks, he served on the select IMF Task Force on Terrorism Finance.

The Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists will be offering continuing credits for students in the new program. John Byrne, the association’s executive vice president and an anti-money laundering veteran, will also serve on the faculty.

“In today’s challenging compliance environment, the opportunities for advanced training and education has never been greater,” Byrne said. “The program will fill a major need and assist both the private and public sectors in combating money laundering and financial crime.”

A professional advisory committee chaired by Rick McDonell, executive secretary of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Experts and the former executive secretary of the Financial Action Task Force, will guide the program.

“This program is a perfect example of anti-money laundering professionals developing a comprehensive compliance and legal response to the global challenges regarding financial crime,” said Rick Small, senior advisor for anti-money laundering and financial crimes/financial services for EY, who also serves on the degree program’s advisory committee. “I am proud to be associated with this ground-breaking effort.”

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