Separate investigations focus on ex-FBI special agent’s Russian and Albanian ties

FBIAUTHORITIES IN THE UNITED States have launched at least two separate investigations into the business dealings of Charles McGonigal, the highest-ranking former employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to face criminal charges in recent times. Much has been written about McGonigal’s alleged connection with Kremlin-linked Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. On the contrary, relatively little is known about his purported dealings with Albanian and other Balkan officials and middlemen, some of whom appear to have intelligence links. There is also the question of whether the criminal charges against McGonigal and his alleged co-conspirator, former Soviet and Russian diplomat Sergey Shestakov, are strictly financial in nature, or may eventually expand to include an espionage angle.

McGonigal, 54, retired in 2018 after a 22-year career at the FBI, during which he served as head of counterintelligence in New York, home of one of the Bureau’s largest field offices. He was arrested on Saturday in New York, upon returning to the United States from a trip to Sri Lanka. He faces charges of conspiring with Shestakov, a naturalized US citizen, to provide under-the-table services to Deripaska. The latter is among a long list of Kremlin-linked oligarchs, who have been subject to strict US sanctions since 2018. In working for Deripaska, McGonigal is accused in the state of New York of violating US government sanctions and engaging in money laundering, among five other charges.

However, the former FBI special agent is facing nine more charges in Washington, which involve illicit activities that he allegedly engaged in while still serving in the FBI. This is in contrast with his business relationship with Deripaska, which he is believed to have entered after his retirement from the Bureau. According to the indictment, McGonigal received in excess of $225,000 from an Albanian-born American businessman, who is also a former employee of Albanian intelligence. In return, McGonigal allegedly helped promote the businessman’s interests in the US and abroad. Throughout that time, McGonigal reportedly failed to disclose his alleged financial links with the businessman, as is required of all FBI employees. Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: