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Former FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy, Worked for Russian Oligarch Under Sanctions

The defendant pleads guilty, resulting in prosecutors dropping the remaining charges.

Ex-FBI Agent enters a plea of guilt for conspiracy. (Photo: Google)

Prosecutors revealed that Charles McGonigal, who later pleads guilty, had been covertly compensated by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in return for conducting an investigation into a competing entrepreneur.

According to an article published by India Today, a former FBI agent, Charles McGonigal, pleads guilty to conspiracy in a New York court for working on behalf of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who was under U.S. sanctions.

McGonigal, who formerly led the FBI’s counterintelligence division in New York and retired in 2018, pleads guilty to having accepted undisclosed payments from Deripaska for the purpose of investigating a competing businessman and attempting to remove Deripaska’s sanctions.  Initially not admitting guilt to several charges, including sanctions violations and money laundering, McGonigal now pleads guilty. 

He pleads guilty to having served Deripaska thrice from spring to autumn of 2021, aiming to unearth compromising data on Vladimir Potanin, a contender of Deripaska, in an attempt to have him sanctioned by the U.S.

McGonigal pleads guilty to acknowledging receipt of $17,500 for this task, funds that were funneled from Russia through accounts in Cyprus and New Jersey to obscure the origin of the payments. The defendant pleads guilty, resulting in prosecutors dismissing other allegations.

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The conspiracy charge entails a maximum prison term of 5 years, and the sentencing is set for December 14th.

According to an article published by AP News, in this case, the U.S. Department of Justice showcases its unwavering dedication to dismantling illicit networks that Russian oligarchs employ to evade sanctions and laws. Furthermore, the defendant pleads guilty to the charges.

The prosecution’s intensified endeavors to enforce sanctions on Russian officials and their suspected enablers in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 culminated in Deripaska’s admission of guilt.

Deripaska had initially been sanctioned in 2018 for his alleged involvement in Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, a claim vehemently refuted by both him and the Kremlin.

Today, he pleads guilty to these accusations, acknowledging his role in the events. Vladimir Potanin, a prominent Russian businessman, was added to the U.S. sanctions list in December 2022.

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