October 24, 2019

The topic of Vesper Group’s autumn mingle was financial fraud and money laundering. Keynote speaker was Jeremy Mears, with 15 years of AML experience from the CIA, who provided a snapshot of the enormous global problems affecting both banks and businesses.

Mears talked about his work using the so-called “follow the money”-method, which involved everything from tracking down war criminals to intelligence gathering and analysis before imposing sanctions.

Efforts to combat crime are currently ongoing around the world, however loopholes continue to exist, and the creativity, incentives and capability of criminals remains significant. Unfortunately, the ability to fight back or prevent crime is not yet strong enough within the judiciary or amongst lawmakers, Mears said.

Mears, who is currently Vice President of the company Sovereign, also talked about new methods to combat money laundering. He highlighted the problem of increasing compliance costs for banks and financial institutions, as regulations and legislation place higher demands on preventing money laundering linked to international crime, terrorism and “rogue states”.

Mears believed that one of the solutions of the future is artificial intelligence, AI, where it is possible to process large amounts of data and discover patterns that can lead to the detection of criminal transactions, while reducing the banks’ costs.

He pointed out that one can get to know the customer using AI by, for example, combining thorough background checks with AI interpretation of everything from emojis, syntax, dialogue style, slang and sarcasm. All in order to prevent the wrong customer from entering the system.

Since 2008 regulators have fined financial firms more than $28 billion for AML and sanctions violations, according to Mears.

Mr. Jeremy Mears, Vice President at Sovereign Intelligence