The former head of counterintelligence at the New York FBI, Charles McGonigal, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to help Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska violate sanctions against Moscow.
Charles McGonigal, 55, told a federal court in New York that after leaving the FBI, he agreed to work for Deripaska in order to collect dirt on his business rival. According to McGonigal, in 2021 he received more than $17,000 in payment for services. The ex-FBI officer emphasizes that he “deeply repents” of what he did.
The verdict will be handed down in December 2023, according to the Associated Press. McGonigal faces up to 5 years in prison.
Assistant Prosecutor Rebecca Dell told the judge of the evidence available to the investigation that McGonigal was attempting to remove Oleg Deripaska from the US sanctions list. Dell also noted that in 2021, Charles McGonigal and several of his accomplices were negotiating a fee ranging from $650,000 to $3 million for searching electronic files with information about Deripaska’s competitor. Forbes, citing a source familiar with the investigation, claimed that this competitor is Vladimir Potanin, co-owner of Norilsk Nickel.
Charles McGonigal served in the FBI for more than 20 years, during the last two years of his career he headed the counterintelligence department of the special services in New York. In this capacity, he himself took part in investigations concerning Russian oligarchs, including Oleg Deripaska, writes Voice of America.
Former high-ranking FBI official Charles McGonigal was arrested in the US in January 2023. According to the indictment, McGonigal handled cases related to the property in the United States of the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. At the same time, US authorities arrested former Russian diplomat Sergei Shestakov, who is also charged with violating anti-Russian sanctions and giving false evidence to the FBI.
The US authorities imposed sanctions on Deripaska in the spring of 2018. In December of the same year, the United States lifted sanctions on the oligarch’s companies, but personal restrictions against him remained in place.
In March 2019, he sued the US Treasury in an American court. Deripaska said that the sanctions restrictions against him were unfair and illegal, and the damage they caused was estimated at more than $ 7.5 billion. The businessman demanded the lifting of sanctions, since the conditions for their introduction were no longer relevant.
In response, the US Treasury declassified some of the materials that also became the basis for the introduction of restrictive measures. The department said that the oligarch was laundering money for Vladimir Putin. And in the summer of 2021, an American court denied Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska a lawsuit demanding that the US Treasury sanctions imposed on him be lifted.