Former FBI Official Gets Over 4 Years in Prison

Former FBI Official Gets Over 4 Years in Prison

( – Federal agents must pass several background checks and meet stringent requirements to land one of the coveted positions in the FBI or other intelligence agencies. The purpose behind this is to ascertain that they aren’t morally inept or have conditions in their lives that others might use to influence their decisions, such as enormous amounts of debt or bad credit. However, despite the steps they go through, some federal officials still end up on the wrong side of the law. That’s what happened to former Special Agent in Charge Charles McGonigal, and he’ll now spend years behind bars for his crimes.

The Crimes

In January, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Public Affairs issued a press release revealing that federal prosecutors had indicted Charles McGonigal, a Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI Counterintelligence Division in New York, on nine counts. These included six counts of making false statements and two counts of falsification of records and documents.

Another bulletin from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York noted prosecutors had indicted him on five additional counts, this time related to violating US sanctions on Russia.

In August, McGonigal pleaded guilty to two charges. He admitted to conspiring to commit money laundering and conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) when he agreed to work with Oleg Deripaska, a sanctioned Russian Oligarch. Then, in September, he pleaded guilty to concealing material facts when he failed to disclose he received $225,000 “from an individual who had business interests in Europe” while the SAC was overseeing counterintelligence efforts.

The Sentence

On Thursday, December 14, a judge sentenced McGonigal to just over four years — 50 months — in prison for the charges related to the IEEPA and evading US sanctions. After the judge handed the sentence down, US Attorney Damian Williams said that the former FBI agent “violated the trust his country placed in him … to prepare for his future in business.” In doing so, “he jeopardized our national security” in dealing with Deripaska, who purportedly has immediate ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, acting as his agent.

In the press release, it was reported that Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said the sentence holds McGonigal “accountable for [his] betrayal and demonstrate[s] [the DOJ’s] commitment to deny designated individuals the means to circumvent US sanctions.”

McGonigal still faces sentencing in the concealment of material facts case. A court scheduled him to appear on February 16, 2024, to learn his fate on those counts.

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