Former FBI agent Charles McGonigal admitted to a New York court on Tuesday that he worked for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in violation of US sanctions.
The former FBI counterintelligence agent pleaded guilty to one charge in exchange for other charges being dropped.
Former agent McGonigal, who lives in New York, has been charged separately in a federal court in Washington with concealing at least $225,000 he allegedly received from a former Albanian intelligence official while working for the FBI.
In January, prosecutors accused former special agent Charles McGonigal, who headed the FBI’s counterintelligence division in New York before retiring in 2018, of being secretly paid by Russian oligarch Deripaska in exchange for investigating a rival businessman. He is accused of working to lift sanctions against oligarch Deripaska in 2019, a goal that was not achieved.
At the time, former agent McGonigal pleaded not guilty to four criminal charges, including money laundering and sanctions violations.
Mr. McGonigal, 55, said in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday that he had worked for oligarch Deripaska between the spring and fall of 2021 to find negative information about rival Vladimir Potanin in an effort to put him on the U.S. sanctions list. .
The former FBI agent was paid $17,500, transferred from Russia through accounts in Cyprus and New Jersey, in an effort to disguise the source of the payments, he said.
Mr McGonigal told the court he was “deeply remorseful” for his actions. His attorney, Seth DuCharme, told reporters after the hearing that his client had been treated fairly.
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. Judge Jennifer Rearden plans to sentence Mr. McGonigal on December 14.