UC's Suzanne Lynch Recognized as Expert in Money Laundering

Suzanne Lynch headshot

Suzanne Lynch, professor of practice in economic crime at Utica College, was one of just three professors from around the US that were recognized in Forensic Colleges’ article “Featured Experts in Money Laundering.”    

Lynch, a longtime expert in payment fraud and anti-money laundering, earned her bachelor’s in criminal justice from Wayne State University and her master’s degree in economic crime management from UC. During her college years, Lynch worked part time in the area of security at a large department store. One of her responsibilities included investigating stolen credit cards that were used in the store. Lynch was recruited to work in security and risk management at MasterCard, which she says gave her the national and international experience to understand how payments can be used in all aspects of crime throughout the world.  Lynch explains that this background was the foundation of her expertise in payment fraud and anti-money laundering, as she worked in law enforcement and as a fraud investigator in a bank's credit card department.

After the events of 9-11, a priority for Lynch and her coworkers was the focus on how the proceeds of card fraud and electronic payments can be used to finance terrorism and other crimes. Lynch states that “financial data is also a crucial piece of intelligence for other organized crimes such as human trafficking, narcotics investigations and corruption, to name a few. This has become the new reality in all aspects of crime.”

More recently, Professor Lynch helped redesign the online certificate program at UC to enhance its relevance in the investigation of financial crime. She accomplished this by bringing in key stakeholders such as the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS). She also continues to consult for companies regarding fraud and money laundering detection strategies for electronic payments. Lynch has given training on prevention, detection, and investigation of financial crime for law enforcement groups and financial institutions around the world.

Going forward, Lynch lists the greatest threats to the financial industry as cyber-attacks on the banking systems, as they can impact the global financial infrastructure in minutes resulting in significant losses, and money that moves through the global payment systems, which can be stolen in seconds to finance illegal activity. Lynch mentions that banks and other financial services are required by government regulators to monitor for many types of "suspicious activity" to detect these threats. Government agencies throughout the world also monitor financial activity to prevent and detect the illicit movement of money.

Lynch encourages students to consider studying fraud and financial crime. She states that students who study this can apply the knowledge of how to "follow the money" in many industries and law enforcement. This skill has become a major component of all criminal activity, which means that UC graduates are employed by large financial institutions, consulting firms and private companies in the US in roles that monitor potential money laundering and conduct fraud investigations. The students can also work in law enforcement as investigators at local, state and even federal levels.

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