he helped him get around the sanctions

he helped him get around the sanctions

The former FBI New York counterintelligence chief pleaded guilty Tuesday, August 15, to charges of conspiracy and criminal association with a scheme in which he worked for a sanctioned Russian oligarch in 2021, according to CNN.

Charles McGonigal, a 22-year FBI veteran who retired in 2018, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and money laundering pursuant to a recognition agreement. guilt concluded with the prosecutors of the Southern District of New York.

The former FBI officer was arrested in January at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He was charged with collaborating with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who is under sanctions. In addition, it turned out that he concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars received from a former Albanian intelligence officer during his time in a senior position in the bureau. McGonigal’s attorney, Seth DuCharme, recently told a federal judge in Washington that they could settle the Albania-related case by the end of the month.

guilty plea

During a court hearing on Tuesday, McGonigal answered a series of questions about Deripaska’s illegal scheme and his mental solvency, after which District Judge Jennifer Rearden accepted his guilty plea. “The mind is clear,” he told the judge, saying he felt “great.” In court, McGonigal, 55, said he was “deeply remorseful” for his actions.

“I appeared before you in this court to take full responsibility because my actions were never intended to harm the United States, the FBI, my family and friends,” he said, at times showing emotion.

On the subject: An American lawyer pleaded guilty: he helped a Russian oligarch circumvent sanctions

“I agreed with the other side to collect derogatory information from open sources about a Russian oligarch named Vladimir Potanin, who was a business rival of Oleg Deripaska,” he said. “I knew that Deripaska was included in the sanctions list of the US government. I understood that the information I collected would eventually be used to try to include Potanin on the US sanctions list.”

Photo: IStock

According to him, he understood that the work he was doing would bring certain benefits to Deripaska, and according to American laws, he should not have rendered any services to Deripaska, even indirect ones.

In 2014, the President of the United States issued Executive Order No. 13660 declaring a state of emergency in the United States in connection with the situation in Ukraine. To address this emergency, the President has frozen all property of individuals who are responsible for or involved in actions or policies that threaten the security, sovereignty or territorial integrity of Ukraine. Sanctions also apply to individuals who financially assist, sponsor or provide support to individuals or entities involved in such activities. Executive Order 13660 and the regulations issued pursuant to it prohibit the giving or receiving of any funds, goods or services to any person on this sanctions list.

Elimination of illegal schemes

Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Homeland Security Division, said: “Charles McGonigal, by his own admission, betrayed his oath and actively covered up his illegal work for a sanctioned Russian oligarch. Today’s guilty plea is evidence of the Department of Justice’s determination to prosecute and dismantle the illegal networks that Russian oligarchs use to escape our sanctions and circumvent our laws.”

FBI Assistant Director James Smith said: “Economic sanctions are a critical component of our national security policy. They must be applied fully and fairly to effectively limit the resources of those who threaten to harm the United States and our global allies. Sanctions evasion through fraud is a serious criminal offence. In pleading guilty today, former FBI officer Charles McGonigal has taken responsibility for his actions. The FBI is committed to thoroughly investigating reports of sanctions violations and relentlessly prosecuting anyone involved in such activities.”

McGonigal can now face a maximum five-year prison sentence on one count, to which he pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Rearden said in court. Sentencing has been set for December 14. His lawyers said they would ask the judge to review classified information about McGonigal’s work for the US government before sentencing.

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