Category: In The News

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FiveBy experts are often asked to provide insights on risk-related news, industry trends, and other sanctions and money-laundering issues.

Irene Kenyon, FiveBy Director of Risk Intelligence, recently participated in a free webinar with Thomson Reuters on how US firms and financial institutions can best adjust to the volatile sanctions environment caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Topics in this hour-long webinar include strategies to protect companies from regulatory risk, given the rapidly changing sanctions environment, with new designations being released almost on a daily basis, reputational risk, de-risking, and transparency that makes tracking illicit assets much less challenging.

Best advice 

Companies must examine their own risk appetites. What are their red lines? Are they willing to do business in Russia at all, given the sanctions  risks?

And if companies feel they cannot completely disengage from Russia, they must watch the regulatory and legislative developments and do proactive assessments about businesses that may be at risk of being sanctioned, about entities that may have connections with Russian oligarchs  who may be in danger of being designated, and know how much being involved with Russia will impact their reputations in the ESG sphere, which is becoming more and more critical for both clients and investors.

Courtesy of Thomson Reuters

FiveBy experts are often asked to provide insights on risk-related news, industry trends, and other sanctions and money-laundering issues.

Thomson Reuters recently published FiveBy’s advisory on strategic corruption written by FiveBy Risk Intelligence analyst Marren Haneberg in a two-part series that explores how US firms and financial institutions can adjust, as US regulators look to enhance the country’s battle against strategic corruption.

The first part explores the meaning of strategic corruption and why the US government considers the issue a threat to our national security.

Oligarchs, especially those from Russia and Ukraine, are making real estate and other large asset purchases to evade sanctions, launder money through US and other western financial systems, and influence politicians. Corrupt regimes also exploit state-owned companies to influence foreign politics.

In the second part, Marren examines how US companies can stay ahead of the curve and be proactive in their efforts to address this national security threat.

Companies engaged in [vulnerable] sectors should reassess their risk programs, possibly perform transaction monitoring, track changes in employment for clients — especially those in risky jurisdictions or who raise other red flags. Companies also should keep abreast of possible upcoming regulatory changes mandated by the Corporate Transparency Act, given the Biden administration’s commitment to treating corruption as a national security concern.

US firms and financial institutions concerned about transacting with possible kleptocrats and corrupt government officials, especially as the West ramps up sanctions against Russian oligarchs, should engage the support of expert analysts at FiveBy to develop most effective strategies to protect their business from regulatory and reputational risk.

Need more information? Visit or contact us at

FiveBy experts are often asked to provide insights on risk-related news, industry trends, and other sanctions and money-laundering issues.

Irene Kenyon, FiveBy Director of Risk Intelligence, was recently quoted in an article by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on likely Iran sanctions evasion by a Dubai-based petrochemicals firm.

Irene Kenyon, a former intelligence officer at the U.S. Treasury Department and now director of risk intelligence at the consultancy FiveBy Solutions, agreed that Petrochem appeared to be evading sanctions.

“This does not look great,” she said. “At best, its leadership does not know what its employees are doing and is completely unaware of these violations, and that’s not a great look.”

Dubai-based Petrochem apparently had used several proxy companies and falsified documents to obscure that the ship had been loaded in Iran in possible violation of US and other sanctions.

Adding human expertise into the data stream for meaningful risk intelligence

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The consequences of failing to comply with government sanctions and commerce regulations can impact a company’s reputation and bottom line.  The government expects companies to know the suppliers they buy from and customers they sell to.

Every company that buys or sells internationally or sells domestically to a foreign national or foreign entity, needs to develop processes for identifying the entities involved in those transactions and ensure that they are not prohibited from commerce. Typically, companies will subscribe to a service that sifts through a world of data points and generate reports to assist with this. Having access to these reports is crucial – and having access to experts with knowledge of the rules and how to connect the dots for their business can help avoid ending up on the wrong side of government rules which can result in hefty fines and damage to business reputation.

Today FiveBy Solutions and Sigma Ratings are announcing a joint offering that brings together the power of the Sigma Ratings data platform with the expert insights of FiveBy’s Risk Assessment Services to offer clients a best of breed solution for managing business risk.

Building on Sigma’s derived insights, FiveBy now offers an additional three levels of expert assessment, delivering to Sigma’s clients the next level in understanding compliance risks. FiveBy Risk Assessment Services are ideal for clients needing access to additional hands-on expert research whether for a one-off assessment or as part of a broader managed service.

“Companies are increasingly expected to be experts when it comes to sanctions and financial regulations, and support for deeper research is often required to understand the risk of doing business in today’s market” said Alex Kochis, President and founder of FiveBy. “As a leader in the bespoke risk management solutions space, we are delighted to be able to expand our portfolio by offering on demand risk assessment services to Sigma’s clients.”

Stuart Jones Jr, Founder and CEO of Sigma Ratings added “Sigma Rating’s Terminal Solution delivers actionable insights for confident decision making. Now by partnering with FiveBy we can offer the best decision support the industry has to offer to our clients.”

FiveBy Solutions is a specialized risk intelligence consultancy with unique expertise in risk and fraud management. Companies and organizations contact FiveBy when they see risks related to fraud, abuse or compliance that could affect their reputation, their ability to support customers, their intellectual property, or their bottom line. FiveBy provides unique insight and experience to transform these risks into opportunities. Whether you work with FiveBy on an assessment, to address a one-off incident, or to create robust processes to address future risks – we’ll always be in your corner. We stay ahead of the game, so you don’t have to.

Incubated at MIT in 2017, the mission of Sigma Ratings is to make the world more transparent by highlighting and standardizing metrics for good corporate behavior. Sigma’s Certified Ratings leverage public and private data on companies to create a rating. These ratings are especially beneficial in highlighting institutions, with effective compliance, in jurisdictions perceived as high-risk. Sigma’s use of AI and machine learning enables it to achieve its mission at global scale through the collection, organization and scoring of public data. To date, Sigma has organized over 100 billion data points on over 900 million companies and people globally to make it the world’s most comprehensive risk analysis database.

For more information:

Press Enquiries:

FiveBy Solutions Founder and President, Alex Kochis, recently spoke with CIO Review about FiveBy’s ability to create bespoke solutions for clients to mitigate fraud, and regulatory and reputational risk. FiveBy is a recognized expert in the fraud and compliance space and has helped numerous clients transform their risks into opportunities, combining unique insights, technical savvy, and human expertise to deliver comprehensive solutions for clients seeking to reduce their organizational risks.

In one instance, we worked with a client to reduce a growing problem that could have jeopardized their bottom line and reduced the ongoing fraud by over eighty percent in just under nine months… We now operate that company’s fraud program end-to-end, keeping instances of fraud – such as with credit cards – consistently below industry average.

FiveBy excels at providing tailor-made solutions for clients seeking to reduce vulnerabilities that can impact their bottom line and reputation, including account takeovers, credit card fraud, and violations of US sanctions and anti-money laundering regulations, whether by embedding with existing client teams to provide specialized expertise or building programs from the ground up. Need more information? Visit or contact us at


FiveBy experts provide insights on news, industry trends, and possible regulatory and reputational risks around the corner.

Our very own Irene Kenyon, Director of Risk Intelligence at FiveBy is interviewed by Thomson Reuters in this timely article about how possible regulatory changes after the recent Treasury Department sanctions review can impact US financial institutions, the complexities of the increased use of more targeted sanctions, and the challenges posed by a sharpened focus on cryptocurrencies.

As always, being proactive is key.

“As the government focuses on more precise and targeted sanctions on specific issues, financial institutions and other U.S. firms will need to pay extended attention to possible targets and get out of the habit of simply screening against sanctions lists,” says Kenyon. “This change in sanctions strategy is going to require greater due diligence on the part of financial institutions. They really need to know their customers on a much more granular level, because that’s what Treasury is expecting.”

Inadequate sanctions screening and lack of proactive due diligence can bring all manner of risk to US financial institutions. FiveBy Solutions can help.  Need more information? Visit or contact us at

FiveBy experts provide insights on news, industry trends, and possible regulatory and reputational risks around the corner.

Our very own Irene Kenyon, Director of Risk Intelligence at FiveBy is interviewed in this fascinating article by Thomson Reuters which discusses the complicated environment of sanctions compliance – a landscape filled with pitfalls that perfunctory screening tools may be insufficient to catch.

Unfortunately, the consequences for inadequate sanctions screening have never been more punitive. Regulatory scrutiny surrounding sanctions is stricter than ever and penalties for noncompliance can cost companies millions of dollars. Furthermore, a new presidential administration means U.S. sanctions are currently in a period of flux — a period, that is, when the possibility of an inadvertent sanctions violation is at its highest.

Inadequate sanctions screening can bring all manner of risk to companies involved in international trade. FiveBy Solutions can help.  Need more information? Visit or contact us at


With more than 10 years of success developing solutions for clients to combat software piracy and internet service fraud and abuse, FiveBy Solutions is excited to announce “FiveBy 2.0” – bringing deeper focus on our customers’ requirements, expansion of our core areas of expertise, and new leadership to help guide us in our mission to turn our clients’ business risks into opportunities.

FiveBy Expansion

Building on our current portfolio, FiveBy will continue to invest in providing expert consulting services in three established areas – Fraud and Abuse, Risk Intelligence and Sanctions, and Security and Disinformation. With a track record of supporting key players in the software and hardware industries, we will provide the expertise our clients need to turn business risks into opportunities.  Every day we hear of new incidents of fraud affecting companies, organizations, and individuals. The impact of these incidents risk more than disruption to business, they can also lead to missed opportunities. Using data driven insights, a unique point of view, and ample experience, FiveBy will provide timely, impactful solutions to meet our clients’ needs. Supporting this work, FiveBy has formalized its Service Delivery and Practice Management functions and will begin to invest more broadly in creating repeatable, adaptable solutions that allow our clients to stay ahead of the game. And as a company already known for our unique understanding of the risk intelligence landscape, FiveBy will continue to invest in our people, ensuring we can continue to bring clients a unique combination of technical and business skills.

Leadership Changes

After founding FiveBy Solutions in 2010 with a strongly held belief that software piracy could be reframed as a business and brand opportunity for our clients, Alex Kochis will step back from the day-to-day business to assume the role of President and Founder, working behind the scenes to guide FiveBy’s future success. Replacing Alex in the CEO role is David Lazar, a 6-year veteran of FiveBy, previously at Microsoft and Adobe in a variety of program, product, sales, and management roles. As CEO, David will be responsible for realizing FiveBy’s broader vision, with a specific focus on ensuring FiveBy stays ahead of the risk intelligence, fraud and abuse game to better support our clients.

Two additional leaders have also been announced – John Solheim,  assuming the role of Chief Commercial Officer, and Silvana Gross who becomes Chief Operating Officer. As Chief Commercial Officer, John Solheim, who comes to FiveBy with a deep operations, sales, and management background – will be responsible for client care, marketing, new business growth and for leading our focus on developing repeatable solutions. Silvana Gross, as Chief Operating Officer, will continue to manage FiveBy Operations, HR, and Finance as she has done admirably for the last 3 years at FiveBy.  Silvana and John will also lead two new teams, Service Delivery and Practice Management, supporting client success and the development of industry-leading best practices.

As a leader in providing risk intelligence solutions to high-tech companies since 2010, FiveBy is excited to embark on this broader journey. We look forward to continuing to provide expert consulting services to our current clients and establishing new and repeatable solutions for a broader market. For more information contact or visit

FiveBy is a specialized risk intelligence services firm companies and organizations contact us when they see risks related to fraud, abuse, sanctions, money laundering, corporate governance, or security issues which could affect their reputation, their ability to support customers, their intellectual property, or their bottom line. FiveBy provides the insights needed to transform risks into opportunities. Our unique point of view brings together expertise spanning security, technology, data science, and operations and whether its responding to an ongoing incident or implementing preventive measures, we will work with you to implement solutions tailored to your business needs.