Michael Ferguson is a director in the Compliance Risk and Diligence practice based in the New York office. Michael leverages significant experience in advising clients worldwide on numerous compliance related due diligence matters and other aspects of compliance programs, bringing impactful and valuable insight to their challenges via his extensive international and domestic investigative work. 

Prior to joining Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps, Michael served a distinguished 28-year career with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), where he recently held the position of Special Agent in Charge of the New England Field Division. In this role, Michael was responsible for all enforcement and administrative operations, overseeing the activities of DEA, state and local law enforcement personnel assigned to the six New England states. With regards to anti-money laundering (AML) and threat finance (TF), he led and directed investigations targeting organizations involved with terrorism finance as designated by the U.S. State Department and the OFAC.  

From a compliance perspective, Michael oversaw the annual budget and audit review of all programs and organizational business lines associated with the 16 offices, within the New England Field Division. Additionally, he led the organization’s pharmaceutical and chemical diversion program, to ensure all DEA registrants were in full compliance with federal laws stated in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Code of Federal Regulations. Michael managed criminal and civil investigations regarding DEA registrant medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists and both pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers and distributors. He ensured federal compliance considering the record number of licit/illicit/counterfeit opioid pain pill and drug-related overdose deaths throughout New England. In addition, he coordinated the DEA’s enforcement efforts with other federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutors as well as directed community outreach programs dedicated to educating teens and adults about the dangers of opioid use. He established an intelligence-driven targeting model to combat counterfeit/illicit opioid pain pill-related deaths throughout New England. Michael also presented on numerous high-profile roundtable conferences and symposiums, to educate and collaborate on the best practices to prevent and inhibit further drug overdose deaths.

Michael is a retired senior executive service member of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), with significant experience leading individuals and directing sensitive, complex and confidential global and multi-national law enforcement operations. Michael led investigations to develop evidence that could be utilized in the judicial process to bring to trial and convict members of transnational organized crime syndicates. 

Michael advises clients on the benefits of conducting third party due diligence on their vendors, distributors, customers, investment partners and high wealth clients. He also informs clients about the advantages of sanction screening and properly vetting key business and investment partners for a merger and acquisition or an initial public offering. Michael possesses significant subject matter expertise in the areas of AML, TF, anti-bribery and corruption (ABC), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), know your customer (KYC), compliance programs, sanctions screenings, enhanced due diligence, ultimate beneficial ownership, source of wealth, incident response and overall risk management. He regularly assists in the creation of risk-based compliance and due diligence programs for clients that meet a variety of regulatory obligations. He works with clients to protect their reputational risk and avoid regulatory actions, by helping them understand the risks involved in their transactions. Michael’s clients then make informed decisions about the expansion of their business, regardless of the jurisdiction.

Professional Experience
  • Directed strategic and tactical enforcement programs, actions task forces and a $7 million budget, which was used to target global transnational organized crime syndicates and local violent criminal gangs and their illicit proceeds
  • Member of an interagency working group made up of members from DEA, DOJ, U.S. Departments of State, Defense and Treasury and the National Security Council and Office of National Drug Control Policy. Michael assisted in obtaining $100 million in funding from this working group and initiated, planned and created a strategy that resulted in the targeting, arresting and prosecuting of high-value Afghan/Pakistani targets and Taliban members involved in drug trafficking and terrorism finance, as well as weaponry, manpower and financial support to the Taliban insurgency 
  • Assigned to the American Embassy in Singapore and served as the chief advisor to the respective U.S. ambassadors in Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei. In addition, to developing effective partnerships with Southeast Asian regional law enforcement, Michael was the U.S. government’s lead negotiator for the Drug Designation Agreement between the U.S. and Singapore; this agreement allowed for shared banking information, established AML protocols and freezing/forfeiture of drug proceeds 
  • Assisted clients with developing and maintaining a risk-based compliance program with appropriate due diligence, to meet potential regulatory obligations relating to the Bank Secrecy Act, AML, TF, fraud, tax reporting, collection concerns, data privacy, cyber security and IT infrastructure
  •  Reviewed internal policies and procedures existing within an organization to ensure compliance with established requirements relating to AML, ABC and FCPA
  • Conducted trainings for clients on AML, ABC, compliance program and code of conduct and Business Ethics
  • Advised and assisted clients with third-party due diligence relating to their vendors, distributors, customers, investment partners, high wealth clients; he was roped in when clients led an M&A or IPO transaction and required screening and vetting of potential partner key decision makers 
  • Engaged internal stakeholders regarding risk identified in their organizations and their risk-based approach, to develop a strategic perspective geared toward the mitigation of risk
  • Developed, implemented and monitored compliance solutions that met legal and regulatory requirements, which impacted financial institutions and multinational corporations
Education and Certifications
  • B.S. in business administration and communication, Stonehill College, North Easton, MA
  • Drug Enforcement Administration, Basic Agent DEA Academy, Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA
  • University of Virginia, Supervisory Leadership Training, DEA Academy, Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA
  • University of Notre Dame, Senior Executive Leadership Development Program, Notre Dame, IN
Affiliations and Membership
  • Member of DEA Survivor’s Benefit Committee, DEA New England Field Division
  • Member of the Massachusetts Major Chiefs Association
  • Member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS)
  • Member of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE)
Awards and Recognition
  • Top Cop Award 1995 Oval Office Recognition by President Clinton and presented by Vice President Al Gore
  • U.S. Attorney General’s Award of Excellence in Law Enforcement presented by AG Michael Mukasey in 2008
  • DEA Administrator’s Award for Distinguished Service in 1994, 1995 and 2009
Selected Media Appearances

Michael has conducted numerous press conferences on behalf of the DEA’s New England Field Division. He has also been interviewed frequently on network news stations such as CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX and New England Cable News and by publications like the Boston Globe and Washington Post.

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