Former high-ranking FBI official Charles McGonigal arrested in New York on charges of working for a Russian businessman Oleg Deripaskawhich is under US sanctionssays in messagepublished on the website of the US Department of Justice. According to information ABC NewsMcGonigal is one of the highest-ranking former FBI officers ever charged with a crime.
McGonigal, 54, was a counterintelligence special agent with the FBI’s New York office until he retired in 2018. He participated in investigations against “Russian oligarchs”, including Deripaska.
Another defendant in the case is a US citizen, former Russian diplomat Sergei Shestakov, who worked in New York as a court interpreter. Both are accused of conspiracy to violate sanctions, as well as conspiracy to launder funds. Shestakov is also accused of giving false evidence.
In 2019, McGonigal and Shestakov tried to organize the removal of Deripaska from the sanctions list, and in 2021, according to the indictment, they, on the order of Deripaska, began an investigation against one of the businessman’s competitors, receiving “hidden payments” for this work, the US Department of Justice noted. .
“Charles McGonigal, a former high-ranking FBI official, and Sergei Shestakov, a court interpreter, violated US sanctions by agreeing to provide services to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch under sanctions. They both worked with Deripaska, trying to get the sanctions lifted from him, ”said prosecutor Damian Williams.
FBI Assistant Director Michael Driscoll said both detainees acted on Deripaska’s behalf and “fraudulently used an American organization to cover up their activities in violation of US law.”
ABC News, citing information from the indictment, reports that after leaving the FBI, McGonigal, according to US authorities, worked for Deripaska through a law firm, where his income amounted to at least $ 25 thousand. Later, the former FBI agent worked directly for Deripaska, receiving an initial payment of $51,000 and then monthly payments of $41,790 for three months in 2021, the publication said.
According to the indictment, he told friends he was working for a “rich Russian guy” but stressed that his work was legitimate. In conversations about Deripaska, McGonigal and Shestakov often called him “big guy” and “you know who,” the channel notes.
RBC sent a request to Deripaska’s representative.
McGonigal is also facing another case in Washington on charges of receiving $225,000 in cash from an Albanian citizen who worked for a Chinese energy company.
The United States included Deripaska and related companies – UC Rusal, En +, Eurosibenergo – on the sanctions list in April 2018. By December 2018, En+, UC Rusal and Eurosibenergo managed to reach an agreement with the US authorities to lift the sanctions. The main condition was the reduction of Deripaska’s share in En +, as a result, it fell from almost 70% to less than 45%. The businessman himself, as well as the GAZ group, which he controls through the Russian Machines holding, remained on the list.
Deripaska tried to challenge the sanctions in a US court, but lost both the main trial and the appeal in October 2022. In the lawsuit, the businessman insisted that he was the victim of a political struggle in the United States due to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Deripaska said that the sanctions against him were unfair and illegal, as a result of which he suffered damages of $ 7.5 billion, which at that time was approximately 81% of his fortune.