Former FBI agent arrested for colluding with Russian oligarch
A Former high-ranking FBI counterintelligence officer He investigated Russian oligarchs and was accused of working secretly for one of them in violation of US sanctions. A separate chargesheet was also taken against the officer Money Former foreign security officer.
Charles McGonigal, The special agent in charge of the FBI’s counterintelligence division in New York from 2016 to 2018 is accused of working with a former Soviet diplomat-turned-Russian translator. Oleg Deripaska, A Russian billionaire is said to have been referred to as a “big man” and “customer” in the code.
McGonigal, who oversaw and participated in investigations of Russian oligarchs, including Deripaska, lifted Deripaska’s sanctions in 2019 and took money from him in 2021 to investigate a rival oligarch, the Justice Department said.
The indictment is a blow to the FBI at a time when the office is embroiled in separate political impeachment investigations involving the handling of classified documents by both presidents. Joe Biden Like the former president Donald TrumpAnd newly emerging Republicans in Congress have vowed to investigate high-level decisions in the office and the Justice Department.
McGonical and Interpreter, Sergei Shestakov, Arrested Saturday: John F. McGonigal and Shestakov at his home in Morris, Connecticut, after landing at Kennedy International Airport. They are scheduled to appear in court in Manhattan on Monday. Both are being held at a federal prison in Brooklyn.
McGonigal, 54, and Shestakov, 69, have been charged Violating and conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act; Conspiracy to do Financial fraud and money laundering. Shestakov is also accused of making false statements to the FBI.
McGonigal was charged separately in federal court in Washington, DC with at least one count of cover-up. $225,000 cash He allegedly received it from a former Albanian intelligence officer while working for the FBI.
The indictment does not allege that McConnell was paid bribes, but federal prosecutors say he hid the payments from the FBI and acted as an FBI supervisor for his own financial gain.
They proposed that a pharmaceutical company should pay for the company of man $500,000 In exchange for planning a business meeting that included a representative of the US delegation to the United Nations.
In an office-wide email Monday, FBI Director Christopher WrayMcGonigal’s alleged behavior “is in stark contrast to what I see of the men and women of the FBI, who demonstrate through their actions every day that they are worthy of the public’s trust.”
The U.S. Treasury Department added Deripaska to its sanctions list in 2018 for alleged ties to the Russian government and Russia’s energy sector amid ongoing Russian threats to Ukraine.
In September, federal prosecutors in Manhattan indicted Deripaska and three associates. Conspires to defy US sanctions By conspiring to ensure that his son was born in America.
Shestakov later worked as an interpreter for federal and prosecutorial courts in New York City. He retired as a diplomat in 1993. According to the indictment, helped connect McGonagall with Deripaska.
In 2018, while McGonigal was working for the FBI, Shestakov introduced her to a former Soviet and Russian diplomat who acted as Deripaska’s agent. The man is not named in court documents, but the Justice Department says he is “rumored in public media reports that he is a Russian intelligence officer.”
According to the indictment, Shestakov asked McConnell to help him The agent’s daughter did an internship in the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism and intelligence divisions. McGonigal confessed, prosecutors say, telling a police contact “I’m interested in your father for a number of reasons.”
According to the indictment, a police sergeant later notified the NYPD and the FBI that the woman said she had a seizure. “An unusually close relationship” Along with an FBI agent, he said he was given access to classified FBI files. The indictment states that “it is unusual for a college student to receive such special treatment from the NYPD and FBI.”
After retiring from the FBI, McConnell began working in 2019 as a consultant and investigator for an international law firm seeking to reverse Deripaska’s sanctions, according to the indictment. “Listing”. The law firm paid McGonigal $25,000 Through a company owned by Shestakov, lawyers say the work was ultimately disrupted by factors including the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2021, according to the indictment, Deripaska’s agent discovered McGonigal and Shestakov, a rival oligarch with whom Deripaska was fighting for control of a major Russian company. $51,280 In advance and $41,790 Monthly payments were made through a Russian bank to a New Jersey company owned by a friend of McGonigal’s. McGonigal kept her friend in the dark about the true nature of the payments, prosecutors say.
McGonigal is also accused of concealing key details of a 2017 trip to Albania from the FBI. $225,000.
There, according to the Justice Department, McConnell met with the Albanian prime minister and urged caution in granting licenses to Russian front companies to drill for oil fields in the country. McGonigal’s Albanian connections had a financial interest in those decisions.
In an example attributed to McGonigal Personal gain confused with professional responsibilities, Prosecutors in Washington say they “caused” the New York office of the FBI to launch a criminal lobbying investigation into a former Albanian intelligence officer who was supposed to serve as a confidential human source.
McGonigal did so, prosecutors allege, without disclosing her financial ties to the man to the FBI or the Justice Department.
(With information from AP)