Former FBI official arrested for violating sanctions by working for Russian oligarch

Officials arrested Charles McGonigal, a former FBI official, this weekend in New York and charged by federal prosecutors with money laundering and sanctions violations in relation to his working with a Russian oligarch.

McGonigal, the former head of counterintelligence for the FBI’s New York office, has been accused of violating US sanctions by working secretly with Russian industrial oligarch Oleg Deripaska and several of his also-sanctioned associates during his time working for the FBI. 

Prosecutors also claim McGonigal accepted $225,000 in cash from an individual who has known business interests in Europe and worked in the intelligence community. Among the other charges, McGonigal has also been charged with attempting to get sanctions on Deripaska lifted at one point during his employment with the federal government. 

“Covering up your contacts with foreign nationals and hiding your personal financial relationships is a gateway to corruption,” said U.S. Attorney Graves in a statement from the Department of Justice. “The FBI should be commended for handling the delicate and difficult task of investigating a former executive. This investigation demonstrates their commitment to act as an impartial enforcer of the law.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Donald Alway said in the statement, “Mr. McGonigal betrayed his solemn oath to the United States in exchange for personal gain and at the expense of our national security.”

The DoJ says the case is being investigated by the Los Angeles and Washington FBI Field Offices, and specified in its statement, “The charge of falsification of records and documents carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The charge of making false statements carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for each count. The charges also carry potential financial penalties.”




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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