A former senior FBI official has been charged with violating US sanctions and engaging in money laundering by working under Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and helping him investigate a rival.
Charles McGonigal previously served as a special agent in charge of counterintelligence at the FBI’s New York office, conducting investigations. Deripaska Arrested Saturday night during his time at the agency, the Justice Department said Monday.
Metal tycoon Deripaska was first sanctioned by the United States in 2018 in response to Russia’s previous annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. Washington has sanctioned many other corporate executives after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine less than a year ago, as part of an effort to punish Moscow and limit financial ties with the rest of the world. and imposed visa restrictions.
Mr. Deripaska was one of the few oligarchs to speak out against Mr. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and while avoiding direct criticism of the Russian president, he called it “insane” and “huge.” I called it a mistake.
However, his clashes with the Kremlin over the war did little to mend longstanding hostilities with Western authorities.
“Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska wield malicious influence globally on behalf of the Kremlin, engaging in bribery, extortion and acts of violence,” said FBI Deputy Director Michael Deripaska. Driscoll said.
A representative for Deripaska did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
McGonigal, who retired from the FBI in 2018 after 22 years with the FBI, agreed to “research rival Russian oligarchs in exchange for hidden payments from Deripaska” in 2021, DOJ says. claimed on Monday.
Prosecutors said the 54-year-old worked for licensed oligarchs, either through a law firm or directly, and was paid tens of thousands of dollars for his services, they claimed.
While working as an FBI agent, McGonigal also agreed to help the daughter of a suspected Russian agent begin an internship with the New York Police Department, prosecutors added.
Sergey Shestakov, a 69-year-old former Russian diplomat and US citizen, was indicted along with McGonigal for aiding Deripaska. The duo tried to lift sanctions against the oligarchs in 2019, prosecutors said.
A New York-based diplomat in both the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia, Shestakov remained in the United States to work as a Russian-language interpreter in federal court.
Damien Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said, “They had previously worked with Mr. Deripaska to try to lift his sanctions. As civil servants, they should have known better.”
If convicted, McGonigal could face up to 80 years in prison and Shestakov could face up to 85 years in prison. McGonigal’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
McGonigal has been separately accused by the Justice Department of receiving $225,000 in cash while employed by the FBI from an Albanian-born individual who had business interests in Europe and was an employee of a foreign intelligence agency in his home country. indicted.
US authorities indicted Deripaska and his associates in September. sanctions violationMeanwhile, Deripaska’s girlfriend Ekaterina Voronina has been charged with making false statements to U.S. authorities while attempting to enter the country to give birth to the couple’s child.
Graham Bonham-Carter, a British businessman who worked at Deripaska, arrested The following month, in London, he was indicted by U.S. authorities for helping his boss evade sanctions.
Deripaska is facing another legal proceeding in the UK and has been charged with contempt of court.