December 18, 2023

More than 4 years in prison and a $40K fine for IEEPA and money laundering conspiracy

On December 14, 2023, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York sentenced Charles McGonigal, a former special agent in charge of an FBI counterintelligence division, to 50 months in prison and a $40,000 fine for entering into an agreement to provide services to Oleg Deripaska, a wealthy Russian businessman sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control in 2018 on account of his involvement in the energy sector of the Russian economy and his actions on behalf of Vladimir Putin.

According to court documents, in his role as an FBI official, McGonigal helped investigate Deripaska, and supervised investigations of sanctions violations.  As described in the facts, during his investigation of Deripaska, McGonigal cultivated a relationship with the oligarch in order to do business with Deripaska after McGonigal’s retirement from the FBI.  Specifically, McGonigal agreed to investigate a rival Russian oligarch, to receive payments from Deripaska’s agent, and to conceal Deripaska’s involvement.

McGonigal was charged in January 2023, and later pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and IEEPA conspiracy.  Deripaska lost a challenge to the sanctions against him, and both he and associated business entities remain subject to sanctions.  In September 2022, Deripaska was indicted in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York together with three other individuals for violating US sanctions.

DOJ press release