San Francisco Chronicle

Ex-FBI agent accused of aiding oligarch

- By Michael R. Sisak and Eric Tucker

NEW YORK — A former high-ranking FBI counterint­elligence official has been indicted on charges he helped a Russian oligarch, in violation of U.S. sanctions. He was also charged, in a separate indictment, with taking cash from a former foreign security officer.

Charles McGonigal, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s counterint­elligence division in New York from 2016 to 2018, is accused in an indictment unsealed Monday of working with a former Soviet diplomattu­rned-Russian interprete­r on behalf of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionair­e.

McGonigal, who had supervised investigat­ions of Russian oligarchs, including Deripaska, before retiring in 2018, allegedly worked to have Deripaska’s sanctions lifted in 2019 and took money from him in 2021 to investigat­e a rival oligarch.

McGonigal, 54, and the interprete­r, Sergey Shestakov, 69, were arrested Saturday. McGonigal was taken into custody after landing at John F. Kennedy Internatio­nal Airport. They were scheduled to appear in court in Manhattan on Monday. Both are being held at a federal jail in Brooklyn.

McGonigal and Shestakov are charged with violating and conspiring to violate the Internatio­nal Emergency Economic Powers Act, conspiring to commit money laundering and money laundering. Shestakov is also charged with making material misstateme­nts to the FBI.

McGonigal was separately charged in federal court in Washington, D.C., with concealing $225,000 in payments he received from an outside source with whom he traveled to Europe.

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