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Charles McGonigal, a former top FBI agent, has been sentenced to over four years in prison for violating US sanctions on Russia and collaborating with a Russian oligarch.

McGonigal received a 50-month prison term and was fined $40,000 for his actions, less than a year short of the maximum possible sentence for his charges. Judge Jennifer H. Rearden highlighted the detrimental impact of McGonigal’s actions on national security, emphasizing that his disregard for sanctions undermined efforts to economically pressure Russia. The prosecution accused McGonigal of exploiting his FBI knowledge for financial gain by associating with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire and oligarch.

Expressing a “deep sense of remorse,” McGonigal apologized for his actions during his Thursday sentencing. He had earlier pleaded guilty in August to charges related to his role in investigating Russian oligarchs while leading the New York FBI Counterintelligence Division. McGonigal was found to have attempted to assist Deripaska in being removed from US sanctions.

In addition to accepting $17,500 from Deripaska, who has been under US sanctions since 2018 and is a known ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, McGonigal was accused of investigating Deripaska’s rival oligarch in exchange for the money, according to the Department of Justice. The funds were reportedly laundered through shell corporations with false documentation. McGonigal had agreed to return this amount to the government.

Separate charges in Washington, DC, also found McGonigal guilty of hiding over $225,000 in foreign payments from an Albanian official while leading the FBI’s operations in Europe.


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