Fighting Crime from Behind the Scenes at Santander Bank
Did you know that it’s possible to save lives just by monitoring bank account activity?
Kristina Rauccio '17 didn’t know that she could until her double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology led to her current job as an Anti-Money Laundering Investigator at Santander Bank.
“You wouldn’t think that looking at someone’s bank account could open up a whole other world into criminal activity until you get to do it,” Rauccio said.
Since graduating from RWU in 2017, Rauccio has worked in the money laundering field. She monitors bank accounts looking for signs that people are breaking the law.
“If it is the case that they are breaking the law, it falls in my line of duty to investigate, open a case, and escalate or resolve it as necessary,” Rauccio said.
According to Rauccio, the key to success in this line of work comes from the marriage between the study of psychology and criminal justice.
“It requires a lot of analytical skills. It takes a thought pattern very similar to the psychology field that makes you think, ‘Okay, what is this person is doing?’” Rauccio said. “If you see a lot of money going through an account you think, ‘Is it a business that is very cash intensive that would be doing something like this or is there something irregular or unusual happening?’”
Rauccio likes the excitement of the job, the way her work varies day to day, and getting to think about why people do what they do. Most importantly, she likes being able to make a difference.
“I’m currently pursuing a specialty in human trafficking. How to identify those bank accounts and whom to escalate them to, working with law enforcement. In the field of human trafficking you get to save lives. You get to directly see how what you’re doing affects someone else,” Rauccio said.
While studying psychology at RWU, Rauccio discovered her interest in criminal justice.
“I started out as a psych major and was trying to decide where to go with it. I had an excellent professor in a course my Sophomore year who brought to my attention how interesting it can be not to just look at the law and how people break it but to understand why,” she said.
Rauccio credits the accessibility of resources at RWU and the support from her professors and career advisor with her success.
“I felt really supported from my career advisor who always made it a point to be on a first-name basis as we worked on tailoring my resume and narrowing the scope of what kinds of jobs I wanted to apply to. The professors knew my name and I knew I could reach out at any time,” she said.
Rauccio is currently in graduate school for criminology and was able to reach out to her professors for personalized letters of recommendation two years after graduating.
“My professors still knew me and were so encouraging. Something that I always say about Roger Williams is that everyone casts a really wide net in terms of making you feel supported and like you can always reach out, and I still do,” Rauccio said.
Thanks to this support, Rauccio found a career that inspires her daily.
“I had a great four years, it was really motivating, and I love my job now,” she said.