The former top FBI agent in New York for counterintelligence was arrested with an ex-Russian diplomat and charged with violating U.S. sanctions on Russia after he left the FBI by trying to help the oligarch Oleg Deripaska get off the sanctions list, federal prosecutors said Monday.
The ex-agent, Charles McGonigal separately was charged Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C., in connection with accepting $225,000 in cash — while working at the FBI — from a person who had business interests in Europe who had been an employee of a foreign intelligence service.
“The individual later served as an FBI source in a criminal investigation involving foreign political lobbying over which McGonigal had official supervisory responsibility,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in a statement.
In the case related to Deripaska, a five-count indictment in U.S. District Court in Manhattan charges the 54-year-old McGonigal and Sergey Shestakov, 69, with violating the Russia sanctions, in addition to money laundering.
Shestakov is a former Soviet and Russian diplomat who most recently worked as an interpreter for the Brooklyn federal court and prosecutors there. He has U.S. citizenship.
The Morris, Connecticut, resident is also charged with lying to the FBI during questioning by concealing the nature of his and McGonigal’s relationship with an employee of Deripaska’s who was also rumored to be a Russian spy.
The alleged criminal acts on Deripaska’s behalf began the year after McGonigal, who lives in New York City, retired from the FBI in 2018 after 22 years of service.
But the indictment says he also used his law enforcement connections before his retirement to obtain an internship with the New York Police Department for the college-age daughter of Deripaska’s employee.
McGonigal previously had investigated Deripaska while at the FBI.
He was arrested Saturday night at JFK International Airport in Queens, New York, after flying there from the Middle East.
McGonigal and Shestakov, 69, are due to appear in court in Manhattan later Monday. The charges against them carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years if they are convicted.
McGonigal’s LinkedIn profile says he currently works as a senior vice president at commercial real estate giant Brookfield Properties.
The 21-year indictment against him says that in 2021, McGonigal and Shestakov agreed to and did investigate a rival Russian oligarch of Deripaska in return for concealed payments from Deripaska. Those alleged payments violated sanctions that the United States imposed on Deripaska in 2018, the indictment says.
McGonigal, who was in charge of the FBI’s counterintelligence operations in New York from 2016 to 2018, knew his alleged actions violated the sanctions, having received what was then-classified information about Deripaska being added to the list of sanctioned oligarchs, the indictment says. Those sanctions were imposed as a result of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.
Read More: Former FBI agent McGonigal arrested for Russia sanctions violations