Charles McGonigal charged with violating US sanctions; During his time working at the FBI, McGonigal reportedly investigated Russian oligarchs, including Deripaska.
The Justice Department has announced charges against former FBI counterintelligence official Charles McGonigal for allegedly violating sanctions on Russia by providing services to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The retired FBI agent had previously investigated Deripaska as part of since-disproven allegations that former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 elections.
McGonigal was also separately charged on Monday by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for allegedly concealing $225,000 in cash from an outside source. The U.S. attorney’s office unsealed a five-count indictment against McGonigal, who served as the special agent in charge of the FBI’s New York Counterintelligence Division until his retirement in 2018, and translator Sergey Shestakov. Shestkov is a former Soviet and Russian diplomat and U.S. citizen who worked as a Russian interpreter for the U.S. government.
The charges are related to money laundering and violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The indictment alleges that McGonigal and Shestakov conspired to provide services to Deripaska, who was already sanctioned in 2018 for allegedly assisting President Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Prosecutors claim that the services provided by McGonigal and Shestakov were intended to help Deripaska evade the sanctions and continue his business dealings.
During his time working at the FBI, McGonigal reportedly investigated Russian oligarchs, including Deripaska. Deripaska, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is the former CEO of Russian aluminum company RUSAL, and was accused of coordinating the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia in 2016. However, these accusations were later disproven.
Additionally, it has been reported that during his business dealings in Russia, President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, asked for an intelligence and risk analysis report on Deripaska, according to documents obtained last year.
This case is not only significant for the alleged violation of sanctions and money laundering, but also for the connections it has to the ongoing investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal and the role of Russian oligarchs in American politics. It remains to be seen how this case will play out in court and what impact it will have on future investigations.