Former FBI agent Charles McGonigal He will have a lot to explain at the trial, which will see him charged on dozens of counts. But he’s not the only one having trouble. The Bureau will now have to pick up the strings and try to understand how the efforts of its former head of the counterintelligence division in New York affected the sanctions that Washington imposed on Russia over the years. The accusation – one of several – that the prosecution is moving against is that he received payments from a Russian oligarch very close to Putin, Oleg DeripaskaIn exchange for inquiries and information about its competitors.
McConigal was arrested at JFK Airport in New York while returning from a trip to Sri Lanka. He pleaded “not guilty” through his lawyer. “Let’s see what evidence the government intends to base its accusations on,” the lawyer pointed out.
McConnigal left the FBI in September of 2018 and the case against him is only getting worse. The first is being investigated by a New York court, and the second by a federal court in Washington, DC. On the one hand, there are preferences of the Russian aluminum king for easing sanctions; On the other nine counts, including money laundering. In this context, he allegedly “hid” $225,000 received from a former Albanian intelligence agent in New Jersey. The former official was also going to keep secret some travels and movements in the Balkans as the former Albanian agent had interests in the business world. Since August 2017 and also after his release from the FBI, McConnigal has not disclosed to his superiors his connection to the Albanian agent who is identified as “Person A” in prosecution documents.
Deripaska’s investigation line is very private. That may have an impact on how the US Department of Justice moves to hit the Russian oligarch with sanctions, which increased last year with the start of the conflict in Ukraine.
But for the FBI, it’s a disgrace: first and foremost, the fact that an agent can—while on assignment—take payments; Second, the concern is about the type of sensitive information McGonigal may have leaked, which could jeopardize clients’ cover. The scenario was also complicated by the fact that the man worked with the CIA on counterintelligence issues and was therefore in contact with documents of the highest degree of secrecy.
As for ties to the Russian oligarchs, McGonigal’s efforts centered on trying to remove his name from the US blacklist. He was hired by a consulting firm after leaving the FBI, which paid him $25,000 a month. This money passed through an account controlled by a former Russian diplomat, Sergei Shestakov, who is also under investigation.
McGonigal will appear in New York City on Monday. If convicted of all charges, the man faces 55 years in prison in the Washington money laundering and corruption trial; Twenty Century New York.
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