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An ex-FBI official is to be sentenced in the US over work for Russia’s Deripaska

Charles McGonigal, a former FBI official who has been charged with working for sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, arrives at Federal Court in New York City, U.S., March 8, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
Charles McGonigal, a former FBI official who has been charged with working for sanctioned Russian ol... Charles McGonigal, a former FBI official who has been charged with working for sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, arrives at Federal Court in New York City, U.S., March 8, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
Charles McGonigal, a former FBI official who has been charged with working for sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, arrives at Federal Court in New York City, U.S., March 8, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
Charles McGonigal, a former FBI official who has been charged with working for sanctioned Russian ol... Charles McGonigal, a former FBI official who has been charged with working for sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, arrives at Federal Court in New York City, U.S., March 8, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

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An ex-FBI official is to be sentenced in the US over work for Russia’s Deripaska. On Thursday, a former FBI officer is scheduled to be sentenced for his involvement in working for Oleg Deripaska, a Russian businessman subject to sanctions imposed by the United States government. Prosecutors have referred to Deripaska as President Vladimir Putin’s “henchman.”

After leading the counterintelligence section of the New York field office from 2016 until his retirement in 2018, Charles McGonigal acknowledged in August that he had worked for Deripaska between the spring and autumn of 2021 to gather damaging material on rival Russian tycoon Vladimir Potanin. McGonigal’s tenure with the FBI lasted from 2016 until his retirement in 2018.

On the one count of conspiracy to violate sanctions to which McGonigal pleaded guilty, federal prosecutors in Manhattan have requested that United States District Judge Jennifer Rearden sentence him to a maximum of five years in prison. This is the maximum time to be served in prison for the offense.

As stated in a court file dated December 7, “McGonigal abused the skills and influence his country entrusted him with by secretly working for the very threats he had previously protected it against,” the prosecution stated. “No one knew the gravity of McGonigal’s crimes better than McGonigal himself.”

His attorneys argued that McGonigal should not be sentenced to prison since he had previously accepted responsibility for his actions and had already been fired. In addition, they stated that he believed that his work for Deripaska was “consistent” with the foreign policy of the United States since it was in continuation with the possibility of penalizing Potanin.

The hearing is expected to occur at the Manhattan federal court at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (1830 GMT).

The United States government slapped sanctions on twenty-one Russian businesspeople and government officials in 2018, including Deripaska, the founder of the Russian aluminum corporation Rusal (RUAL.MM). These penalties were implemented as a response to Russia’s alleged interference in the election that took place in the United States in 2016.

A lawyer for Deripaska, who has been accused separately of circumventing sanctions imposed by the United States, declined to comment on the matter.

In December 2022, as part of its effort to exert pressure on Moscow about its involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Potanin, the main stakeholder of Nornickel, a company that produces metals.

Separately, McGonigal has entered a guilty plea to a federal charge charging him with concealing financial payments totaling $225,000 from a former intelligence officer from Albania. The accusation was brought to Washington. On February 16, 2024, he must submit his sentence in response to the allegations.


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