Ex-FBI agent violated sanctions by aiding Russian oligarch: DOJ

A former top Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) official has been charged with violating US sanctions by aiding a sanctioned Russian billionare, according to the United

States Department of Justice (DOJ). In an indictment unsealed on Monday, prosecutors alleged former FBI agent Charles McGonigal worked on behalf of Russian energy magnate

Oleg Deripaska, providing services that included seeking to have the sanctions against Deripaska lifted and investigating a rival oligarch. He was also accused of hiding payments

from Deripaska. McGonigal had been the special agent in charge of the FBI counterintelligence division in New York before his retirement in 2018. He had supervised

investigations of Russian oligarchs during his tenure, according to DOJ officials. In a statement released on Monday, FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael Driscoll

said: “Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska perform global malign influence on behalf of the Kremlin and are associated with acts of bribery, extortion, and violence”.

“Supporting a designated threat to the United States and our allies is a crime the FBI will continue to pursue aggressively.” Deripaska was sanctioned in 2018, per an

order issued by former President Barack Obama in the wake of the Russian annexation of Crimea. The order blocked the property of all individuals determined “to be responsible for

or complicit in actions or policies that threatened the security, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, or who materially assist, sponsor, or provide support to

individuals or entities engaging in such activities”.