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Ex-FBI agent pleads guilty to concealing external payments from an Albanian official

He faces a maximum five years in prison.

Published: September 23, 2023 11:38am

A former FBI agent pleaded guilty on Friday to charges of concealing foreign payments of over $225,000 from an official in Albania during his time leading the bureau’s counterintelligence operations in Europe.

Prosecutors have alleged that retired agent Charles McGonigal, while in charge of the FBI counterintelligence division in New York, accepted over $225,000 from a former Albanian intelligence official.

McGonigal pleaded guilty to the charges on Friday. 

"According to papers filed with the court, from August 2017, and continuing through his retirement from the FBI in September 2018, McGonigal concealed from the FBI the nature of his relationship with a former foreign security officer and businessperson who had ongoing business interests in foreign countries and before foreign governments," the Department of Justice wrote in a statement. 

"Specifically, McGonigal received at least $225,000 in cash from the individual and traveled abroad with the individual and met with foreign nationals," the statement continued. "The individual later served as an FBI source in a criminal investigation involving foreign political lobbying over which McGonigal had official supervisory responsibility."

He faces a maximum five years in prison. The case is being taken on by the FBI offices in Los Angeles, California and Washington, D.C. 

Just last month McGonigal pleaded guilty to accepting secret payments from Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, whom McGonigal investigated for the FBI over the since-discredited allegations that the Trump 2016 campaign colluded with Russia. The plea deal in that case reduces the amount of prison time he faces, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Charlotte Hazard is a reporter at Just the News. Follow her on X.

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