Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, December 5, 2023

U.S.

Ex-FBI agent tied to Russian oligarch to plead guilty to lying about payment

By Andrew Goudsward

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former senior FBI agent is expected to plead guilty on Friday to charges he concealed $225,000 in cash payments from a former Albanian intelligence officer who became a source in an FBI investigation, court records show.

Charles McGonigal, who led the FBI’s counterintelligence division in New York before retiring in 2018, is scheduled to appear at a plea hearing in Washington federal court at 2 p.m. (1800 GMT).

He pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in federal court in Manhattan last month in a separate case related to his work for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska while Deripaska was under U.S. sanctions.

McGonigal faces a nine-count indictment in Washington charging him with failing to report cash payments and trips he took with the former intelligence officer to Europe in 2017 and 2018. He previously pleaded not guilty to those charges.

A court docket entry showed that McGonigal intends to change his plea on Friday. It did not specify what charges he would be pleading guilty to.

McGonigal’s lawyer and a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington declined to comment ahead of the hearing.

U.S. prosecutors say the former Albanian intelligence officer had business interests in Europe and was a source for an FBI investigation involving foreign lobbying that McGonigal supervised.

The most serious charges against McGonigal carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, but it’s likely prosecutors will seek a more lenient sentence as part of a plea agreement.

(Reporting by Andrew Goudsward; Editing by Scott Malone and Grant McCool)

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