Former High-Ranking FBI Agent Pleads Not Guilty to Latest Criminal Charges

By Steve Neavling

Charles McGonigal, a former high-ranking FBI agent charged with taking money to help a sanctioned Russian oligarch, pleaded not guilty Wednesday, USA Today reports.

The 54-year-old former special agent in charge of counterintelligence at the bureau’s New York Field Office was arrested Saturday and charged with making false statements and concealment of $225,000 in secret payments. 

McGonigal also pleaded not guilty on Monday to related charges in a New York federal indictment of violating U.S. economic sanctions on Russia. 

McGonigal pleaded not guilty Wednesday during a videoconference arraignment before D.C. District Court Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui. 

In that case, he’s accused of receiving a $225,000 payment from a former Albanian intelligence operative who also was an FBI agent. 

McGonigal was allowed to stay out of jail on condition that he surrenders his passport and can’t travel without written pre-approval. 

In the New York case, McGonigal agreed to similar release conditions, in addition to a $500,000 personal recognizance bond. 

He’s scheduled to appear in the D.C. court on Feb. 24 and the New York court on Feb. 1. 

McGonigal, who supervised and participated in investigations of Russian oligarchs before his retirement in 2018, is accused of working with Oleg Deripaska, who has been on the U.S. sanctions list since 2018 and was indicted last year on sanctions charges. 

Prosecutors say McGonigal agreed to help Deripaska investigate a rival oligarch and try to get him off the sanctions list. 

McGonigal is accused of working with Sergey Shestakov, a former Soviet and Russian diplomat who became an American citizen, to help Deripaska. 

Shestakov was also charged in the case. 

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