John W. Vardaman, III is Chief Compliance Officer & General Counsel of Simplifya, the leading provider of regulatory and operational compliance software for the cannabis industry. Prior to joining Simplifya, Mr. Vardaman served as Executive Vice President & General Counsel at Hypur, a compliance-based cannabis banking and payments company.
Mr. Vardaman is an attorney with fifteen years of senior federal government experience in the enforcement of federal laws and policies concerning money laundering, the Bank Secrecy Act, and other financial crimes.
From 2006 to 2016, Mr. Vardaman worked at the Department of Justice, first in the Office of Legal Policy, and then as Assistant Deputy Chief in the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section. In 2014, Mr. Vardaman drafted the DOJ policy regarding marijuana banking, known as the Cole Memorandum, which set forth enforcement parameters designed to enable banks to permissibly service marijuana-related businesses.
From 2001 to 2006, Mr. Vardaman served as Special Assistant to the General Counsel at the Department of the Treasury where he worked on a variety of money laundering and terrorist financing issues following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. From 2003-2004, Mr. Vardaman served as Associate General Counsel to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq, where he oversaw an international campaign to locate and repatriate assets of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi regime held around the world.
Mr. Vardaman was the recipient of the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award from Department of Defense in 2004, and the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service from the Department of Justice in 2015.
Mr. Vardaman received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in 1993, and his law degree from Georgetown University in 1997.