How prosecutors say an FBI agent sold his services overseas
After leaving the FBI, Mr. McGonigal went to work for Mr. Deripaska, the sanctioned oligarch, according to the New York indictment. But this was not his first encounter with Mr. Deripaska’s circle.
Prosecutors have suggested Mr McGonigal began courting Mr Deripaska shortly before he retired. In 2018, he helped the daughter of a Mr. Deripaska employee gain an internship with the New York Police Department, according to the New York indictment. Mr McGonigal explained to another FBI official that the girl’s father was a Russian intelligence officer he wanted to recruit, prosecutors said.
In 2019, after his retirement, Mr. McGonigal introduced Mr. Deripaska to a law firm that would seek to have his sanctions lifted, and Mr. McGonigal was paid $25,000 per month until March 2020 by Mr. Deripaska through the law firm as a consultant. , according to the indictment. Work stopped at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2021, Mr. McGonigal and his associate, Mr. Shestakov, brokered a deal — with Deripaska’s employee whose daughter got the police internship — to work for Mr. Deripaska to investigate a rival oligarch.
Mr. McGonigal and Mr. Shestakov, who are accused of violating US sanctions and money laundering, received $218,000 over three months from a shell company in Cyprus through a Russian bank, according to the ‘indictment. Mr McGonigal arranged to receive payments through a friend’s company in New Jersey, forging the friend’s signature on a contract, prosecutors said.
That friend was Mr. Neza, the Albanian-born businessman who is at the center of charges brought by prosecutors in Washington, according to a person familiar with the investigation.
But Mr McGonigal’s friend was apparently unaware of his work for Mr Deripaska. When Mr. Neza asked about the source of wire transfers from a Russian bank, prosecutors said Mr. McGonigal replied that he had done “legitimate” work for “a wealthy Russian”.
Mr. Neza agreed to transfer the money, prosecutors said.
Adam Goldman contributed report. Susan C. Beachy contributed to the research.