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Former FBI Agent Arrested On Money Laundering Charges: Accused Of Working For A Russian Oligarch


Charles McGonigal, who served as a counterintelligence officer, reportedly tried to free Russian millionaire Oleg Deripaska from US-imposed sanctions. He would also have helped him investigate a rival.

By Jonathan Dienst and Tom Winter -

NBC News

A former counterintelligence chief at the FBI's New York City office was arrested over the weekend on charges of money laundering and violating Russia sanctions, three top law enforcement officials told NBC News.

An FBI spokesman confirmed the arrest of Charles McGonigal, who was detained at New York's JFK airport on Saturday after returning on a flight from the Middle East.

Prosecutors allege that McGonigal

worked with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska

, a Deripaska associate named Sergey Shestakov, and a third party to investigate a rival Russian oligarch.

In exchange, he received payments and money from Deripaska.

According to prosecutors, McGonigal, Shestakov, and a third person attempted to conceal Deripaska's involvement through shell companies, forged signatures, and other means.

The activity allegedly occurred three years after McGonigal's retirement from the FBI in 2018.

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US Attorney Damian Williams said: "As alleged, Charles McGonigal, a former high-level FBI official, and Sergey Shestakov, a court interpreter, violated US sanctions rules by agreeing to provide services to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who has been sanctioned. They both

previously worked with Deripaska to try to get the sanctions against him removed

and as public servants, they should have done better."

FBI Deputy Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll said: "The FBI is committed to implementing economic sanctions designed to protect

to the United States and our allies, especially against the hostile activities of a foreign government and its actors.

Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska wield global malign influence

on behalf of the Kremlin and are

associated with bribery, extortion, and violence."

The Treasury Department sanctioned Deripaska for “acting or purporting to act on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a senior official

of the Government of the Russian Federation and for operating in the energy sector of the economy of the Russian Federation”.

His work within the FBI

McGonigal began working for the FBI

in 1996

and was first assigned to the New York Field Office, where he worked

on Russian foreign counterintelligence and organized crime.

During his tenure in New York, he worked on the investigation of TWA Flight 800, was assigned to the task force that investigated scientist Wen Ho Lee, investigated the 1998 terrorist bombings of the US embassies in Tanzania, and Kenya, and investigated the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. 

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McGonigal was named Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office's Counterintelligence Division in 2016, after serving as a section chief of the Cyber ​​Counterintelligence Coordination Section at FBI headquarters.

McGonigal's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News, sister network to Noticias Telemundo.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-01-23

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