(PatriotWise.com) — A former FBI top officer responsible for counterintelligence in the New York Field Office received a 50-month prison sentence for collaborating with a sanctioned Russian figure, often referred to as “Putin’s henchman.”
Charles McGonigal, aged 55, was found guilty of conspiracy to breach U.S. sanctions and commit money laundering as part of his agreement in 2021 to work with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. McGonigal admitted guilt in August to these charges.
His punishment included a fine of $40,000, forfeiture of $17,500, and three years of supervised release, as disclosed by the Department of Justice.
Deripaska, one of the individuals sanctioned by the U.S. in 2018 due to interference in U.S. elections, faced charges for breaching these sanctions, as described in McGonigal’s case.
The verdict is a form of accountability for this betrayal, showcasing the Department of Justice’s dedication to preventing specified individuals from evading U.S. sanctions.
During his tenure as an FBI official, McGonigal collaborated with Deripaska in investigating rival Russian oligarchs, concealing Deripaska’s identity by using intermediary companies and fraudulent means to receive and send payments. He aimed to maintain the relationship after retiring from the FBI and engaging in significant business transactions with Deripaska.
Despite his attorneys arguing that McGonigal accepted responsibility and lost his job, the court handed down the 50-month sentence. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated that McGonigal’s actions betrayed the trust placed in him by the country and jeopardized national security.
McGonigal’s collaboration with Deripaska, a figure under sanctions, violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) imposed in 2018. Their concealed agreements were aimed at bypassing U.S. sanctions.
The FBI’s New York Field Office Counterintelligence Division, with support from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the New York City Police Department, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Southern District of New York handled the prosecution, supported by the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.
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