US charges ex-FBI agent with violating Russia sanctions

A former top FBI official is facing criminal charges for allegedly trying to help a Russian oligarch get off a US sanctions list, prosecutors have announced. Charles

McGonigal was arrested alongside an ex-Russian diplomat on Saturday. The pair face money laundering and conspiracy charges. Mr McGonigal also faces charges he took $225,000

(£181,612) in cash from a foreign agent while still in the FBI. The two were due in court on Monday. According to federal prosecutors, the 54-year-old Mr McGonigal -

who was in charge of FBI counterintelligence in New York before his retirement in 2018 - and former Russian diplomat Sergey Shestakov violated US sanctions by agreeing to provide

services to Russian billionaire and industrialist Oleg Deripaska. Mr Deripaska, 55, is reportedly once Russia's richest man and was president of energy company En+ Group

and United Company Rusal - the world's second largest aluminium company - before leaving both firms in 2018. He was hit with sanctions the same year, with the US accusing him and

a handful of other Russian oligarchs and officials of "malign activity around the globe". US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement on Monday that Mr McGonigal and Mr

Shestakov "both previously worked with Deripaska to attempt to have his sanctions removed." "As public servants, they should have known better." Prosecutors believe

the two men agreed to investigate a rival oligarch and have Mr Deripaska removed from a list of individuals sanctioned by the US.