Federal prosecutors say the former head of counterintelligence for the FBI’s New York office laundered money, violated sanctions against Russia while working with a Russian oligarch and while still with the FBI took hundreds of thousands of dollars from a foreign national and former official. foreign intelligence.

Charles McGonigal, 55, was arrested Saturday after arriving at New York’s JFK airport on a flight from the Middle East.

A case filed in federal court in Washington, DC, alleges that while serving as special agent in charge of the FBI’s counterintelligence efforts in the New York office, McGonigal took $225,000 in cash from a person with business interests in Europe who he had been employed by a foreign intelligence service.

From August 2017 until his retirement in September 2018, McGonigal allegedly concealed his relationship with this former foreign security officer from the FBI. She allegedly requested and received cash from the individual and traveled abroad with the individual.

Charles McGonigal, former head of counterintelligence for the FBI’s New York office.grandesdecisiones.tv

«Mr. McGonigal betrayed his solemn oath to the United States for personal gain and at the expense of our national security,» FBI Deputy Director in Charge Donald Alway said.

Federal prosecutors in New York allege that after his retirement from the FBI in 2018, McGonigal worked with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, Deripaska associate Sergey Shestakov and a third person to investigate a rival Russian oligarch in exchange for payments from Deripaska.

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

US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Charles McGonigal, a former high-level FBI official, and Sergey Shestakov, a court interpreter, violated US sanctions. by agreeing to provide services to Oleg Deripaska, a sanctioned. Russian oligarch. They both previously worked with Deripaska to try to get the sanctions removed from him and as public servants they should have known better.»

FBI Deputy Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll said: “The FBI is committed to the application of economic sanctions designed to protect 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.»

On Monday afternoon, McGonigal pleaded not guilty to the New York charges and was released on $500,000 bail.

Prior to his guilty plea, Seth Ducharme, McGonigal’s attorney, said: “Charlie served the US effectively for decades. … We look forward to seeing the evidence.”

The Treasury Department has sanctioned Deripaska for «having acted or purported 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,» according to the Justice. Department. In 2022, federal prosecutors in New York charged Deripaska with sanctions violations.

Given McGonigal’s ties to FBI offices in the Washington and New York area, the Los Angeles field office led the two-year investigation, three senior law enforcement officials said. The decision to move the investigation to Los Angeles was to ensure that there were no conflicts of interest or competing interests among officers who might have known McGonigal.

In a statement Monday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the office was committed to holding accountable anyone who broke the law, including its own employees.

«The way we maintain the trust of the American people is through our work, showing, when all the facts come out, that we stick to process and treat everyone equally, even when it’s one of our own.» Wray said. «The FBI will do everything possible to investigate and hold accountable anyone who violates the law, even when the individual is an employee of the FBI.»

McGonigal’s career included a stint as the section chief coordinating the FBI’s cyber and counterintelligence programs at the FBI’s secretive Intelligence Data and Technology Division (ITADD) in Chantilly, Virginia, as well as his posting in New York, according to show public records.

mcgonigal was appointed 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 joined 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 investigating scientist Wen Ho Lee, investigated the 1998 terrorist bombings of the US embassies in Tanzania, and Kenya, and investigated the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.