WASHINGTON (AP) — A former top FBI counterintelligence official was sentenced Friday to more than two years in prison for taking millions of dollars in cash from a businessman. Albanian government – and is trying to hide its corrupt financial ties.

Charles McGonigal, 55, oversaw national security operations for the FBI in New York for nearly two years before his retirement in 2018. Albanian After his interest in the U.S., he solicited and received about $225,000 in 2017 from a man who worked for the Albanian intelligence agency, prosecutors said.

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U.S. District Judge Colleen Coler-Cotelli sentenced McGonigal to two years and four months in prison for the trial in Washington, D.C. She ordered him to serve 50 months consecutively for a separate trial in New York. . He faces a total of six years and six months when he reports to prison next month.

McGonigal expressed remorse and regret for the “mistakes” she made, saying she betrayed the trust and confidence of her loved ones.

“For the rest of my life, I will fight to regain that trust and become a better person,” he told Kollar Kotelli before his sentencing.


Charles McGonigal, former special agent in charge of the FBI’s counterintelligence division in New York, arrives at a federal courthouse in Washington, Friday, Feb. 16, 2024.

The judge told McGonigal that he appeared to have “lost his moral compass” at the end of a distinguished FBI career, when he held the highest national security positions in the federal government. He said his remorse seemed genuine.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t repair the damage,” he added.

Justice Department prosecutors had recommended that McGonigal be sentenced to two years and six months in prison for the Washington case alone.

“Abuse of the public trust is particularly egregious when, as here, the motive was pure greed and the defendant is a law enforcement officer charged with enforcing the very laws he openly defies. has been violated.” he wrote in a court filing.

In December, a federal judge in New York sentenced McGonigal to four years and two months in prison for conspiring to violate sanctions on Russia by going to work for a Russian oligarch, which she once did. Was investigated. The oligarch, billionaire industrialist Oleg Deripaska, was under US sanctions for reasons related to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

McGonigal was scheduled to report to prison next month to serve her sentence in the New York case. His lawyers urged the judge in Washington to avoid imposing more prison time, arguing that he had already been “justly punished” for his crimes.

His defense attorneys wrote that “his fall from grace has been enormous, he has lost his job, his reputation and the peace of his family life, and now faces the dire prospect of a 50-month sentence that he will serve.” The service is about to start.”

McGonigal was separately accused of concealing her relationship with her ex. Albanian The official, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was living in New Jersey. McGonigal has said he borrowed $225,000 to start a security consulting business after retiring from the FBI. He did not repay the loan.

In 2017, McGonigal traveled to Albania with her benefactor and met with Albania’s former energy minister and the country’s prime minister. According to prosecutors, McGonigal warned the prime minister to avoid granting oil field drilling licenses to Russian front companies in Albania. They say McGonigal’s traveling companion and energy minister had a financial stake in the Albanian government’s decisions about drilling licenses.

McGonigal pleaded guilty last September to concealing a material fact, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He admitted that he failed to report the loan, his trips to Europe with the person who gave him the loan or his contacts with foreign officials during the trips.

“He put his greed ahead of serving his country,” a prosecutor, Elizabeth Aloi, said Friday.

Defense attorney Seth Ducharme urged the judge to let McGonigal serve his two prison sentences concurrently. Ducharme argued that McGonigal did not need a prison term beyond his 50-month sentence in New York “to serve justice.”

“He didn’t betray his country. He broke the law,” the attorney said.

The FBI had to review several other investigations to determine whether McGonigal had compromised any of them during his tenure.

“The defendant worked on some of the most sensitive and important cases handled by the FBI,” prosecutors wrote. could endanger,” prosecutors wrote.

McGonigal expressed regret in a statement submitted to the court.

“I wish it was all a bad dream that I could easily wake up from,” he wrote.

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