On May 17, 2014, members of Amscot Financial’s compliance team attended Tampa Hyde Park Rotary Club’s gala benefiting Bridging Freedom as one of its Freedom Sponsors. Bridging Freedom is a local nonprofit organization, whose mission is raising awareness of human trafficking and bringing restoration to rescued victims.
Founded in 1989, Amscot Financial has over 230 branches in 20 Florida counties and is a leading provider of convenient consumer oriented financial services. Among those in attendance at the gala were Amscot’s in-house compliance attorney, Nina Lacevic, and the company’s AML Compliance Officer, Richard Holland, formerly with the FBI.
As part of its Anti-money Laundering Compliance Program, Amscot’s compliance team and associates work hard to prevent and deter proceeds of human trafficking from being placed and integrated into the financial system.
"Compliance through deterring crime and preventing money laundering is an ongoing effort and supporting the investigative process and nonprofit organizations like Bridging Freedom is just one of the ways we strive to help the communities we serve.” indicated Lacevic.
Florida ranks third in the country – behind California and Texas – among states with the highest activity of human trafficking. Specifically, the Tampa Bay area’s tourism industry, adult entertainment industry and international seaports and airports create a lucrative and highly accessible environment for minor sex-traffickers. Minor sex-trafficking is a form of human trafficking whereby a person under the age of 18 is forced to engage in a commercial sex act.
In the U.S. each year, approximately 300,000 children – at the average age of 12 – are prostituted against their will. Victims are typically kidnapped or have run away from home. In 2010 and 2011, the Tampa FBI rescued 51 minor sex-trafficking victims. The United Nations indicates there are up to 27 million people being trafficked at any point in time, generating $32 billion each year.
Source: http://www.bridgingfreedom.org and United Nations statistic.