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Vanessa Richards

Vanessa Richards

Managing Director, Global Head of Fraud Prevention and Site Security, Vanguard

Vanessa serves as the Head of Vanguard’s Global Site Security and Fraud Prevention team and is an accomplished attorney and leader in fraud risk management and investigations.  Prior to joining Vanguard, Vanessa created and then led PayPal’s Fraud Defense Cyber Center (“FDCC”), the company’s first fraud fusion center.  Vanessa and her team strategically designed, organized, and operationalized FDCC’s pro-active and responsive teams, to 1) gather fraud threat intelligence, 2) operationalize that intelligence to combat account take-over threats specifically and fraud more broadly, and 3) manage fraud incident response enterprise-wide. 

Prior to joining PayPal, Vanessa served as a state and federal prosecutor for a dozen years.  At the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut, Vanessa led national security and cyber-related criminal investigations of computer hacking and fraud, botnets, dark web distribution of narcotics, business email compromises, unlawful bitcoin exchanges, economic and political espionage, and other complex federal violations.  In that office, she served first as the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Coordinator for the District and then as the Deputy of the National Security and Cyber Crimes Unit.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Vanessa served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney's office, where she investigated and prosecuted organized crime, with many of her cases focusing on corruption in public projects. 

Before her tenure with the government, Vanessa was a Litigation Associate at the New York City firms of Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman, LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP.