(LibertySociety.com) – Nearly three decades ago, Charles McGonigal joined the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). In 2016, the agency’s director, James Comey, chose him to head up the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division in New York City — a prestigious placement. McGonigal retired in 2018, and now, after investigating crimes for all those years, he’s finding himself on the other side of the law.
On January 23, the Department of Justice in the Southern District of New York announced the arrest and indictment of McGonigal and an alleged co-conspirator, Sergey Shestakov, on multiple counts of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. According to the indictment, in 2021, the defendants agreed to work for a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, even though he was under sanctions from the US government.
"A shocking blow to the FBI": Former FBI official Charles McGonigal has been arrested and faces charges of violating Russian sanctions and money laundering. https://t.co/m5sSAg74B3 pic.twitter.com/UYJZyoP8Kz
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 23, 2023
Allegedly, the pair agreed to look into a rival Russian oligarch for Deripaska in exchange for cash. They reportedly ran those funds through shell companies to evade detection. The DOJ stated both defendants knew their actions were against the law. The agency further claims that in 2019, McGonigal and Shestakov tried to have Deripaska removed from the sanctions list.
Perhaps equally concerning, McGonigal worked on at least two cases involving Russia during his time at the FBI. One was investigating whether or not the 2016 Trump campaign colluded with the country to gain information about then-presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. The other was into Deripaska himself. It’s unclear whether the former agent’s arrest will trigger a review of the previous cases.
McGonigal could face up to 80 years in prison if found guilty on all five counts. Shestakov could face the same penalty plus an additional five years for allegedly lying to the FBI. US District Judge Jennifer Rearden will oversee the case.
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