San Francisco Chronicle
Ex-FBI agent accused of aiding oligarch
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.