Lead Agent For FBI Trump-Russia Probe In Custody For Insane Reason

One former lead agent for the FBI that played a key role in the expansive Trump-Russia probe was arrested this past weekend for alleged dealing with a high-profile Russian oligarch.

The Southern District of New York officially unsealed the indictment, showing a total of five counts, targeting a former Special Agent In Charge Of The New York FBI Counterintelligence Division, Charles McGonigal, and Russian oligarch Sergey Shestakov this past Monday.

The two people were issued charges of allegedly being in violation of conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and with conspiring to commit money laundering and money laundering. Another charge was issued to Shestakov of also allegedly lying to officials with the FBI.

The DOJ stated that McGonigal, who retired back in 2018, “supervised and participated in investigations of Russian oligarchs, including Deripaska,” throughout his time at the FBI. Shestakov is known to be a former Soviet and Russian diplomat that went on to move to the U.S. to work as an interpreter for the government.

The DOJ’s comments alleged:

In 2021, MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV conspired to provide services to Deripaska, in violation of U.S. sanctions imposed on Deripaska in 2018.  Specifically, following their negotiations with an agent of Deripaska, MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV agreed to and did investigate a rival Russian oligarch in return for concealed payments from Deripaska.  As part of their negotiations with Deripaska’s agent, MCGONIGAL, SHESTAKOV, and the agent attempted to conceal Deripaska’s involvement by, among other means, not directly naming Deripaska in electronic communications, using shell companies as counterparties in the contract that outlined the services to be performed, using a forged signature on that contract, and using the same shell companies to send and receive payments from Deripaska.

MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV were aware that their actions violated U.S. sanctions because, among other reasons, while serving as SAC, MCGONIGAL received then-classified information that Deripaska would be added to a list of oligarchs considered for sanctions as part of the process that led to the imposition of sanctions against Deripaska.  In addition, in 2019, MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV worked on behalf of Deripaska in an unsuccessful effort to have the sanctions against Deripaska lifted.  In November 2021, when FBI agents questioned SHESTAKOV about the nature of his and MCGONIGAL’s relationship with Deripaska’s agent, SHESTAKOV made false statements in a recorded interview.

It was explained by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams that both men “should have known better” and that the Southern District of New York would “continue to prosecute those who violate U.S. sanctions enacted in response to Russian belligerence in Ukraine in order to line their own pockets.”

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