Anti-Money Laundering Specialist
Michael McDonald & Associates, Inc. (MMA) is a South Florida-based consulting firm specializing in U.S. Bank Secrecy Act and USA Patriot Act compliance, international money laundering, seizure, forfeiture and asset recovery related matters since 1998.
MMA operates under the direction of Michael McDonald, a 27-year veteran of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. He is a founding Advisory Board member of the Association of Money Services Compliance Officers (AMSCO), on the Advisory Board of the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists (ACFCS), a former Advisory Board member of ACAMS, the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, the past Chair of the ACAMS MSB Task Force and Manager with SightSpan International MSB Services.
During his career as a Special Agent, Mike McDonald held several managerial positions and directed investigative resources in many high profile money-laundering task forces. He was a co-founder of the first multi-agency money laundering task force ever assembled, Operation Greenback. Since his retirement in 1998, Mike has lectured at conferences and seminars around the world. He has consulted banks, non-bank financial institutions, multi-national corporations, U.S. and foreign government agencies on money laundering and compliance matters. He has conducted more than 525 compliance examinations and developed anti-money laundering programs for a wide variety of bank and non-bank financial institutions, trades and businesses. He has provided litigation support and participated as an expert witness in civil and criminal cases involving Bank Secrecy Act and money laundering issues. He was the money-laundering consultant to the United Nations Drug Control Program (Asia), and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).
The MMA Associates are retired U.S. Federal law enforcement agents with extensive experience in Bank Secrecy Act, international money laundering and a wide variety of sophisticated financial criminal investigations and asset forfeiture matters.
Our Associates have testified as expert witnesses, participated as undercover agents in money laundering cases, directed specialized undercover operations, designed and taught complex money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act investigative techniques to enforcement agencies around the world. Several MMA Associates are fluent in Spanish and capable of conducting examinations and providing training programs and consulting services in both English and Spanish. Michael McDonald & Associates, Inc. has conducted more than 500 independent examinations or reviews of compliance and AML programs for a wide range of bank and non-bank financial institutions, trades and businesses in the U.S. and internationally.
Lydia M. Bulas – CAMS
Ms. Bulas is a retired Special Agent of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. A fluent Spanish speaker, she worked in all of the major money laundering investigative task forces in South Florida and Puerto Rico. She has extensive experience in complex criminal financial investigations including money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act cases. Since retiring in 2002, she has participated in independent examinations of compliance and AML programs for MSBs and banks in the U.S., South America and the Caribbean. She also works with the Office of Technical Assistance, U.S. Treasury Department providing support to Latin American countries in the AML field. She is President of Lydia Bulas & Associates, Inc.
Steven R. Smith – CAMS
Mr. Smith is a retired Special Agent of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. As an expert in money laundering, Steve participated in all of the major money laundering task forces in South Florida and Puerto Rico and several special detail programs such as the Terrorist Financing Task Force, Operation Green Quest. He testified as an expert witness in criminal court and was a cadre instructor to the elite IRS Criminal Investigation Money Laundering Expert Witness training program for senior Special Agents. He also provided international training in financial investigative techniques. Since retiring in 2002, Steve has worked as an expert witness, participated as a speaker in international anti-money laundering conferences and conducted independent examinations of compliance and AML programs for MSBs and banks in the U.S. and the Caribbean. He is President of S. R. Smith & Associates, Inc.
Peter Abalia – ACAMS
Mr. Abalia is a retired Special Agent of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. As an expert in money laundering investigative techniques, he participated in all of the major money laundering task forces in South Florida and Puerto Rico. He was instrumental in developing a working knowledge of the Black Market Peso Exchange in Colombia and FinCEN training programs on the BMPE. Since his retirement, Mr. Abalia has been actively involved in developing and conducting independent examinations of compliance, AML and training programs for MSBs and financial institutions in the U.S. and the Caribbean. He has participated in government sponsored AML training programs. Peter is fluent in Spanish and President of Abalia & Associates, Inc.