#FMFS 2021 Summit Spotlight: Richard Lebel & Scott Apodaca

How to Leverage Partnerships to Fight Human Trafficking

Richard Lebel, CAMS  

Director at Transaction Record Analysis Center 

Prior to his work at TRAC, Rich enjoyed a 22-year law enforcement career with the Phoenix Police Department’s Conspiracy Unit, and subsequently with the Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force, both of which are tasked with conducting long term investigations that target large scale drug-trafficking and money-laundering organizations. During his time at TRAC, Rich has presented at several national and international conferences on the movement of illicit funds through money service businesses, and methodologies employed by criminal organizations throughout the United States. 

Scott Apodaca, M.B.A., CAMS  

Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit & Head of Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative at Western Union

Scott Apodaca is a Director within Western Union’s Financial Intelligence Unit where he oversees a variety of functions in support of an investigative and analysis group responsible for ensuring that actual and emerging risk is identified on a global scale through the pursuit of high-quality analytics, intelligence and proper messaging.  The team is responsible for the investigation and mitigation of higher risk AML and Terrorist Financing issues facing Western Union on several fronts, including Agent, Consumer, and Geographic and Typology based issues.  

Scott also serves as the Head of Western Union’s Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative.  The Initiative is a global effort designed to represent the unified view of the Company’s efforts to combat human trafficking.  Scott leads a cross-functional team that in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations as well as with Compliance stakeholders, aims to raise awareness about human trafficking for Western Union Agents, Compliance employees and industry partners to help improve their ability to detect, investigate, disrupt and communicate potential human trafficking issues to law enforcement.  

Scott holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, with a focus in International Business, from the University of Colorado.  Scott is also a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS). 

Both men, as well as their organizations, stand strong against those who exploit other humans for their profit.  We are all extremely fortunate to have Scott Apodaca and Rich Lebel as a speakers at the First Annual Follow Money Fight Slavery 2021 Virtual Summit.