Retired FBI special agent pleads guilty to concealing information from bureau

Charles McGonigal, a former counterintelligence chief for the FBI, leaves a federal courthouse as a protestor carries a sign and a Russian flag behind him after a hearing related to his arrest in New York in February. File Photo by Justin Lane/EPA-EFE

Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The former special agent in charge of the FBI's field office in New York pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of concealing information from the bureau.

By pleading guilty, Charles F. McGonigal admitted he had failed to disclose that he received $225,000 in cash from a person who had business interests in Europe, the Justice Department said in a news release.

McGonigal, who was supervising counterintelligence efforts at the time, had concealed that he received the cash from the former foreign security officer and traveled abroad with them, together meeting with foreign nationals.

"The individual later served as an FBI source in a criminal investigation involving foreign political lobbying over which McGonigal had official supervisory responsibility," the Justice Department said.

McGonigal retired from the FBI in 2018. Last month, he pleaded guilty in a separate case to working with a sanctioned Russian oligarch he had investigated when he was still a federal agent.

Oleg Deripaska, once considered Russia's richest person, was sanctioned by the United States in 2018 in connection to the Kremlin's 2014 illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Prosecutors said that starting in 2021, McGonigal violated those sanctions by providing services to Deripaska, specifically agreeing to investigate a rival Russian oligarch. He is scheduled to be sentenced in that case on Dec. 14.

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has scheduled McGonigal to appear for his sentencing hearing on Feb. 16, 2024, for the concealing information case. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for that charge.