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May 19, 2022 – NSF Special Topic Panel Discussion #5: War in Ukraine: Money laundering and sanctions avoidance

May 19, 2022 – NSF Special Topic Panel Discussion #5: War in Ukraine: Money laundering and sanctions avoidance

War in Ukraine: Money laundering and sanctions avoidance

May 19, 2022


Prof. Moyara Ruehsen

Professor and Director, Financial Crime Management Program
Middlebury Institute of International Studies


Mr. Daniel Lofrese

NSF, Board of Directors

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

  • When: Thursday, May 19, 2022 09:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
  • Topic: NSF Special Panel #5: War in Ukraine – Money laundering and sanctions avoidance
  • Register in advance for this webinar:
  • After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

To help you stay informed about the rapidly changing and very dangerous situation in Ukraine, NSF will be hosting a series of Special Topics Panel Discussions with subject matter experts. These will be scheduled approximately every two weeks (more often as required). We are creating a new Ukraine War resource blog page on the NSF website where we will post timely information and thought pieces from different perspectives. I also encourage you to send topic requests, questions, and concerns to me at: [email protected]

NSF will host our Fifth War in Ukraine Special Topics Panel Discussion on money laundering and avoiding sanctions on Russia on Thursday, May 19th 0900 – 1015 PDT. Our speaker will be Prof. Moyara Ruehsen from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). Fortunately for NSF, Morrie teaches at MIIS and serves on an international illicit finance task force from her home in South Reno.

The United States, the European Union, and several other countries have imposed a wide range of sanctions on Russia, Russian oligarchs, and Russian officials as punishment for their war on Ukraine. Are they working? Do sanctions ever work? And how are individuals or entities that are recipients of the sanctions, and others who want to continue doing business with sanctioned groups, finding ways to avoid the pain? These are some (of the many) questions Prof. Ruehsen will address. Perhaps the most enlightening part of her presentation will be a discussion about how Nevada plays a key role and a safe haven for those seeking to avoid the sting of sanctions. Got your attention now! NSF Board Member and asset manager for GAMCO will serve as discussant for this event, helping us understand the impact that sanctions and sanctions avoidance are having on the national and global financial institutions.

For all you eager students looking for a preparatory homework assignment, I highly recommend listening to an excellent podcast by The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the UK’s oldest defense and security think tank (and not a Russian affiliated entity). This podcast features Prof. Ruehsen, a member of RUSI’s Taskforce on a Transatlantic Response to Illicit Finance (TARIF), sharing “Illicit Finance 101” to help us wrap our heads around this complicated and vitally important topic.

RUSI TARIF Podcast Episode 26 “Starting at Home”: TARIF: Starting at Home

Stay tuned in and watch videos of our recent NSF programs on our War in Ukraine series and earlier programs at: (scroll to the bottom of the landing page to watch the videos)

Please join us for these very important and timely programs and be ready to share your thoughts and questions with our speakers.

Moyara “Morrie” Ruehsen is a Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, CA and serves as the Director of their Financial Crime Management Program. After receiving three graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Professor Ruehsen spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, studying international organized crime. Since then, she has been teaching courses on money laundering, corruption, sanctions evasion, and cyber-enabled financial crime. Professor Ruehsen is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and a Certified Financial Crime Specialist (CFCS), and has published many articles and book chapters on topics related to threat finance. In addition to her faculty teaching and administrative responsibilities, she conducts training domestically and overseas for the US government, the United Nations, and the private sector.  She may be contacted via email at [email protected]

Dan Lofrese was born and raised in Orange County, NY. He graduated from Fordham University in 1999 and has worked for Gabelli Asset Management Company (GAMCO), a diversified global financial services company with assets under management of $27.5 billion, since 1998. For 17 years back in Rye, NY, Dan had helped to coordinate the firm’s Reno, NV and Palm Beach, FL offices. In 2015, he was asked to “move west young man” to help continue to expand GAMCOs presence in the area. He also spends several months of the year based out of the firm’s Palm Beach office. Dan earned an Executive MBA from UNR in 2018. He is a Rotarian, an Advisory Board Member for the College of Liberal Arts at UNR & UNLV, a TMCC Foundation Board Member, and an Advisory Board member for the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. He has been a member of NSF, attending breakfasts since 2015. Dan is an avid reader, and on occasion, you may find him trying to squeeze in 9 holes at Montreux.

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