Overview of Indictments and Network Connections of Former FBI Official Charles McGonigal

Charles F McGonigal
Charles F. McGonigal

In January the Department of Justice unsealed two indictments against Charles McGonigal, Former Special Agent in Charge of the FBI New York Counterintelligence Division. One indictment charged McGonigal and Sergey Shestakov with violating U.S. sanctions on Russia and conspiring to commit money laundering related to services for Oleg Deripaska. The other indictment charged McGonigal with making false statements and concealing receipt of $225,000 in cash connected to activity in Albania, while he was serving in the FBI. Below are highlights of the two indictments and information on McGonigal’s network and employment.

Unless noted all people and entities displayed are included for context and are not charged with criminal activity or wrongdoing.

In 2021 Sergey Shestakov registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act for work performed for Yevgenyi Fokin, Lord Barker and Oleg Deripaska at EN+ with the help of Charles F. McGonigal, and law firm Kobre and Kim and business intelligence consultants Spectrum Risk Solutions. I was the first person to cover this FARA filing on twitter in December 2021. The FARA filing describes only a small part of the work that Charles McGonigal and Sergey Shestakov engaged in and that is described in detail in the January 2023 indictment against the two. Below is an overview of the earlier FARA filing and key people involved, followed by details on the indictment. After is an overview of the second indictment against McGonigal related to his activities in Albania while working for the FBI.

2021 FARA filing by Shestakov with McGonigal

EN+ Group
Oleg Deripaska
  • EN+ founder and majority owner until sanctions were imposed and now significant minority owner (reportedly transferred some ownership to family members).
Greg Barker, Baron Barker of Battle
Lord Barker
  • EN+ Board Chairman in 2021.
  • Former U.K. energy minister.
  • Resigned from EN+ early 2022.
Evgeny Fokin
Yevgenyi Fokin
  • EN+ Director for International Cooperation aka Evgeny Fokin.
  • (Described in indictment as “Agent-1, rumored in public media reports to be a Russian Intelligence officer.”)
Sergey Shestakov
  • Retiree and Federal Court Interpreter.
  • Eastlink Communications Inc.
Charles F McGonigal
Charles F. McGonigal
  • Described by Shestakov as a ‘security professional’ who helped on an ad hoc basis.
  • At Fokin’s request Shestakov contacted McGonigal, which resulted in relationship with Spectrum Risk Solutions.
Kobre & Kim

Per Shestakov: At Mr. Fokin’s request, I facilitated with the help of Mr. McGonigal the retention of law firm of Kobre and Kim.

Spectrum Risk Solutions

Per Shestakov: At Mr. Fokin’s request, I contacted Mr. McGonigal, which resulted in some kind of relationship being reached with Spectrum Risk Solutions which I believe is still in progress.

11/29/2021 FARA Filing
Registration Statement
More information
  • Registrant: Sergey Shestakov
  • Eastlink Communications Inc. (Connecticut)
  • Nationality: Russia
  • Citizen: United States
  • Occupation: Retiree and Federal Court Interpreter
11/29/2021 FARA Filing
Exhibit A
More information
  • Foreign Principal: Yevgenyi Fokin C/O EN+ Group
  • Foreign Principal information:
    • External Relations Manager for EN+ Group
    • Supervised: EN+ Group has a Board of Directors Chaired by Lord Barker, significant minority interest owned by Oleg Deripaska.
    • [Fokin] reports to Lord Barker and presumably Mr. Deripaska.
  • 8. Describe fully the nature and method of performance of the above indicated agreement or understanding.
    • Mr. Fokin has contacted me seeking professional assistance in the US, which have resulted in the retention of the law firm of Kobre and Kim and later and separately the business intelligence consultants Spectrum Risk Solutions. I acted in hope that my assistance would result in a facilitation fee from the US entities retained, and I have received such fees.
  • 9. Describe fully the activities the registrant engages in or proposes to engage in on behalf of the above foreign principal.
    • From time to time, beginning at approximately the above date, Mr. Fokin has communicated with me on behalf of himself and/or his company seeking professional assistance, and I have attempted to facilitate those requests with the help of Mr. Charles F. McGonigal, a security professional, on an ad hoc basis.
  • Set forth below a general description of the registrant’s activities, including political activities.
    • At Mr. Fokin’s request, I facilitated with the help of Mr. McGopnigal the retention of law firm of Kobre and Kim. At Mr. Fokin’s request, I contacted Mr. McGonigal, which resulted in some kind of relationship being reached with Spectrum Risk Solutions which I believe is still in progress.
12/22/2021 FARA Filing
More information
  • Registrant: Sergey Shestakov
  • Yevgeniy Fokin
  • Item 12 of Exhibit B: I received no monies from the foreign principal. However, on 11/27/19 I received a onetime payment of $25,000 from the law firm and on 10/18/21 I received a payment of $8,000 from the investigative firm, both referred to in the original filing.
  • I am no longer engaged in any activities on behalf of the foreign principal, I am not rendering any services to the foreign principal and I do not expect to receive any money from the foreign principal and request that my registration be terminated as of the date of this amendment.
12/23/2021 FARA Filing
Supplemental Statement
More information
  • Registrant: Sergey Shestakov
  • 7. Has the registrant’s connection with any foreign principal(s) ended during this 6 month reporting period?
    • Yes – Mr. Yevgenyi Fokin
    • Date of Termination: 12/22/2021
USA v Charles McGonigal and Sergey Shestakov
DOJ news release excerpts (link)

Former Special Agent in Charge of the FBI New York Counterintelligence Division Charged with Violating U.S. Sanctions on Russia

A Russian Court and Government Interpreter Also Charged with Violating U.S. Sanctions on Russia

A former Special Agent in Charge of the FBI New York Counterintelligence Division and a former Soviet and Russian diplomat were arrested Saturday on criminal charges related to their alleged violating and conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and conspiring to commit money laundering and money laundering.

According to court documents, Charles F. McGonigal, 54, of New York City, and Sergey Shestakov, 69, of Morris, Connecticut, are charged in a five-count indictment unsealed today in the Southern District of New York with violating and conspiring to violate the IEEPA, and with conspiring to commit money laundering and money laundering.

Counts 1-5
  1. Conspiracy to Violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act
  2. Violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act
  3. Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering
  4. Money Laundering
  5. False Statements
January 23, 2023 Indictment highlights
  • Shestakov connects McGonigal to Agent-1, Deripaska’s Agent
    • 2018 – while McGonigal was still serving as SAC, Shestakov introduced McGonigal to an employee and agent of Deripaska (“Agent-1”). Agent-1 was formerly a diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Soviet Union and Russian Federation, and rumored in public media reports to be a Russian Intelligence officer.
    • Spring and Summer of 2018 – Shestakov asked McGonigal to help Agent-1 obtain an internship with the New York City Police Department for Agent-1’s daughter.
  • The 2019 Law Firm Engagement
    • 2019 – after McGonigal had retired from the FBI, Shestakov and McGonigal introduced Agent-1 to an international law firm with an office in Manhattan, NY. Agent-1 sought to retain the Law Firm to work in having the OFAC sanctions against Deripaska removed.
    • During negotiations to retain the Law Firm, McGonigal traveled to meet Deripaska and others at Deripaska’s residence in London, and in Vienna.
    • Deripaska was to pay the Law Firm $175,000 per month with $25,000 earmarked for other professionals. The Law Firm retained McGonigal who asked them to transmit $25,000 to a corporation owned by Shestakov.
  • The Defendants Illegally Work for Deripaska
    • 2021 – McGonigal and Shestakov investigated a rival Russian oligarch (“Oligarch-2”) of Deripaska in return for concealed payments from Deripaska.
    • Spring of 2021 – McGonigal, Shestakov, and Agent-1 executed a contract to pay a New Jersey corporation $51,280 upon execution of the Contract and $41,790 per month. The New Jersey corporation was owned by a friend of McGonigal who provided an email account and cellphone under a false name to conceal McGonigal’s work while still employed by the FBI. Shestakov forged the Friend’s signature on the Contract without the Friend’s knowledge or permission.
    • August 13 to November 18, 2021 – $51,280 was wired along with monthly payments of $41,790 for August to November.
    • McGonigal sought information about Oligarch-2 and the Russian Corporation which Deripaska and Oligarch-2 were contesting control over. He retained subcontractor-1 which informed him a third-party had located “dark web” files on 500 million in hidden assets. McGonigal and Shestakov negotiated with Agent-1 to obtain funds from Deripaska to purchase the dark web files.
  • Shestakov Lies to Conceal His Relationship with Agent-1
    • November 21, 2021 – immediately prior to seizure of his electronic devices Shestakov met FBI agents in a Manhattan restaurant and attempted to conceal his relationship with McGonigal and Agent-1.

McGonigal’s business partnership registered in Albania

While the indictment against McGonigal and Shestakov was related to violating sanctions to work for Deripaska after McGongial had retired from the FBI, the other indictment charges McGonigal for false statements and concealing receipt of $225,000 in cash while he was serving in the FBI. After resigning from the FBI McGonigal was appointed as a partner and one fourth owner of a business called Lawoffice & Investigation which was registered in Albania until 2019 (note that none of his colleagues are accused of any wrongdoing). Agron Neza makes an appearance in both of McGonigal’s indictments, although he is not charged in either one. Neza is described as a ‘friend’ with a New Jersey corporation in the indictment related to Deripaska – McGonigal and Shestakov used Neza’s company to wire some funds, partially without Neza’s knowledge. Neza is ‘Person A’ in the indictment related to Albania described further down.

Lawoffice & Investigation

Registered in Albania 2008 and suspended November 2019

Agron Neza
Agron Neza
  • 25% owner, appointed 2/21/2019.
  • Other info (unrelated to Lawoffice)
    • Purportedly travelled to Albania with McGonigal in 2017.
    • Involved in transferring funds related to both indictments (not accused of any wrongdoing).
Mark Rossini
Mark Rossini
  • 25% owner, appointed 2/21/2019.
  • Other info (unrelated to Lawoffice)
    • Former FBI agent.
    • August 2022 indictment for bribery charges in Puerto Rico.
    • Per Intelligence Online Rossini consulted for Walter Soriano and influence firm CT Group in Puerto Rico.
Shefqet Dizari
Shefqet Dizari
  • 25% owner, appointed 2/21/2019.
  • Other info (unrelated to Lawoffice)
    • Co-owner of Terraoil Swiss.
Charles F McGonigal
Charles McGonigal
  • 25% owner, appointed 2/21/2019.

Ownership and appointment data from extract from the corporate register for Lawoffice & Investigation via Talking Points Memo

Charles F McGonigal
Charles McGonigal
Allison Guerriero
  • An Insider story on Guerriero’s relationship with McGonigal noted FBI agents interviewed her in November 2021and she received a grand jury subpoena.
  • The article describes how Guerriero is close to Giuliani: “Allison Guerriero knew Rudy Giuliani from law-enforcement circles. Giuliani let her stay in a guest room at his residence after Guerriero’s father’s house caught fire in 2021.”
Witness Subpoena

Partial list of information that federal prosecutors were seeking about former FBI official Charles McGonigal in a witness subpoena:

  • Agron Neza, Spectrum Risk Solutions, Inc. and/or A&E International.
  • Donald Aviv and/or Interfor Inc.
  • Thomas Fitzgerald and/or Guardian Consulting LLC.
  • Louis Bladel and/or Ernst & Young Global Limited.
  • The government or Republic of – Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – or any person associated with the governments (of each location).
  • Davud Zahoriovic and/or Zada Pharmaceuticals.

Grand jury subpoena information via Business Insider

USA v Charles McGonigal
DOJ news release excerpts (link)

Retired FBI Executive Charged with Concealing $225,000 in Cash Received from Former Intelligence Officer

Charles F. McGonigal Arrested in New York

Charles F. McGonigal, 54, a former FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office, has been arrested on charges relating to his receipt of $225,000 in cash from an individual who had business interests in Europe and who had been an employee of a foreign intelligence service, while McGonigal was serving as Special Agent in Charge of FBI counterintelligence efforts in the New York Office. McGonigal retired from the FBI in September of 2018.

According to the nine-count indictment, unsealed today, from August 2017 and continuing through and beyond 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. Specifically, McGonigal requested and received at least $225,000 in cash from the individual and traveled abroad with the individual and met 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. McGonigal is accused of engaging in other conduct in his official capacity as an FBI Special Agent in Charge that he believed would benefit the businessperson financially.

Counts 1-9
1. Concealment of Material Facts
2-7. False Statements
8-9. Falsification of a Record or Document

People and Entities

People identified appear to match description in indictment

  • Person A: Agron Neza (NYT) – naturalized United States citizen, born in Albania, and resided in New Jersey and had been an employee of an Albanian intelligence agency decades earlier.
  • Company A: Delaware business organization registered by Person A in January 2018.
  • Person B: Dorian Ducka (NYT) – Albanian national employed by a Chinese energy conglomerate and an informal advisor to the Prime Minister of Albania, and a former Albanian senior government official. Person A and B were friends and business associates.
  • Person C: national of Bosnia and Herzegovina and an advisor to a Bosnian Member of the Presidency and a former Bosnian defense minister.
  • Person D: (may be Davud Zahoriovic and/or Zada Pharmaceuticals based on grand jury subpoena list) – national of Bosnia and Herzegovina and founder and General Manager of a pharmaceutical company.
  • Lobbyist: Nicolas Muzin (NYT) lobbyist for center-right Democratic Party of Albania run by Lulzim Basha.
January 23, 2023 Indictment highlights
  • August 2017 to May 6, 2019 – Purpose of the Scheme
    • McGonigal falsified, concealed and covered up aspects of his relationship with Person A that he had a duty to disclose and his private interest including accepting more than $225,000 from Person A, travel with Person A to Europe, and establishing ongoing relationships with foreign nationals introduced by Person A and associates.
  • September to October, 2017 – Trips to Albania and receipt of $225,000 in cash
    • September 7, 2017 – McGonigal traveled with Person A from the U.S. to Albania.
    • September 9, 2017 – McGonigal met with Person B and the Prime Minister of Albania.
    • McGonigal urged the Prime Minister of Albania to be careful about awarding oil field drilling licenses in Albania to Russian front companies. Person A and Person B both had a financial interest in the Government of Albania’s decisions about awards of oil field drilling licenses.
    • October 5, 2017 – outside a restaurant, in a parked car in New York City McGonigal received approximately $80,000 in cash from Person A.
    • Fall 2017 – at Person A’s residence in New Jersey McGonigal twice more received $80,000 and $65,000 in cash and indicated the money would be paid back.
  • November 2017 to February 2018 – investigation of lobbyist
    • November 17-21, 2017 – McGonigal travelled to Austria with Person A and interviewed an Albanian businessman and politician and then went to Albania and met various people.
    • November 25, 2017 – McGonigal informed the DOJ prosecutor of a potential new criminal investigation involving a U.S. citizen who had registered to perform lobbying work in the U.S. on behalf of an Albanian political party different from the one in which the Prime Minister was a member.
    • February 26, 2018 – FBI-NY formally opened a criminal investigation focused on the U.S. citizen lobbyist at McGonigal’s request. Person A was later identified by the FBI-NY as a confidential human source supporting the investigation.
  • April 2018 to August 2018 – effort to arrange United Nations meeting for fee of $500,000 from pharmaceutical company
    • April 27, 2018 – McGonigal met with Person C and Person D in Germany. In the meeting, Person C and Person D requested an opportunity to meet with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations or another high-level U.S. government official to request United States support for a political purpose that would impact the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    • June 25, 2018 – McGonigal proposed to Person A that Person A and Company A enter into a contractual relationship with Person D and their pharmaceutical company. McGonigal’s proposal included that Company A would be paid $500,000 by Person D and the pharmaceutical company in exchange for scheduling a meeting between Person D’s pharmaceutical company and a representative from the U.S. delegation to the United Nations.
    • July 26, 2018 – McGonigal provided the FBI’s liaison to the United Nations proposed dates for the meeting that Person C and Person D had requested.
    • August 13, 2018 – defendant McGonigal attended a meeting where he provided information to a senior official from the U.S. delegation to the United Nations about the request made by Person C and Person D for a meeting.

McGonigal’s employment during indictment period

Indictment re: Albania
Key activity Aug. 2017 – Aug. 2018
Indictment re: Deripaska
Key activity Spring 2018 – Nov. 2021
Charles F McGonigal
Charles McGonigal

Charles McGonigal joined the FBI in 1996 and was first assigned to the New York Field Office and worked on Russian foreign counterintelligence and organized crime matters. Over the years McGonigal was promoted to various roles including supervisory special agent in the Counter-Espionage Section, chief of the Asia-Near East Counterintelligence Unit, and assistant special agent in charge of the Baltimore Field Office’s cyber, counterintelligence, counterespionage, and counterproliferation programs (2016 FBI press release).

McGonigal worked on the TWA Flight 800 investigation and investigating the September 11, 2001 terror attacks and led the FBI’s WikiLeaks Task Force (archived bio).

Oct. 4, 2016 – Sept. 2018
FBI New York City
Special Agent in Charge of Counterintelligence

Highlights (note there is no known connection between these events and McGonigal)

Rudolph Giuliani
Rudolph Giuliani
  • Oct. 25, 2016 – Giuliani announced Trump backers “had a couple of surprises left.” 
  • Oct. 26, 2016 – FBI Director James Comey re-opened probe into Clinton emails.
  • Oct. 26, 2016 – Giuliani indicated he had inside information from the FBI about Clinton’s emails.
Late 2018 – Jan. 2022
Brookfield Properties
Senior Vice President for Global Security

Highlights (events pre-date MgGonigal)

Tom Barrack
Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner
  • Aug. 1 2018 – CFIUS approved acquisition of Westinghouse by Brookfield. Barrack had discussions w/Westinghouse and later Brookfield about Saudi nuclear deal.
  • Aug. 3, 2018 – Brookfield announced 99-year lease of Kushner Companies 666 Fifth Ave. building, providing a huge bailout before Kushner Cos had a massive $1 billion plus debt payment due.
Fall 2022 – end date unknown
Aman Group New York
Global Head of Security

Highlights (several events pre-date McGonigal)

Vladislav Doronin
  • Vladislav Doronin is Soviet born and the founder of OKO Group and the owner and CEO of Aman Group.
  • New York Post reported that McGonigal worked for Aman out of NYC where the company opened its first property in August on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in the former Crown building.
  • Doronin’s company 730 Fifth Upper LLC c/o Aman New York became a significant tenant of Trump Tower in March 2022 (see my article).
  • Former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer and partners sold the Crown Building for $1.8 billion to Jeff Sutton and General Growth Properties who flipped the office portion to Doronin and partners for about $475 million. (WSJ)

A few additional notes…

Indictment re: work for Deripaska and Oligarch-2

The Indictment related to work for Oleg Deripaska described how McGonigal sought information about Oligarch-2 and the Russian Corporation which Deripaska and Oligarch-2 were contesting control over. I tweeted a guess that Oligarch-2 may be Vladimir Potanin and the Russian Corporation may be Nornickel which is co-owned by Deripaska and Potanin who have been feuding each other in court for years. An article in Forbes called “Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska May Have Probed Vladimir Potanin Using Ex-FBI Agent Who Was Thorn In Trump’s Side” supports the theory that Potanin may be Oligarch-2 in the indictment.

Deripaska and Albania

There is no indication that Oleg Deripaska is involved in any of the work done by McGonigal related to Albania. However after the news of the indictments against McGonigal became public, there were several reports in the Albanian press about Deripaska, including a story in Politiko called “Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska benefited €20 million from the Albanian Development Fund during 2019-2021” which says (through a translated version):

Oleg Deripaska, part of the scandal with the investigation and arrest of the former FBI official, and sanctioned as a Russian oligarch, turns out to have not only extended his business to Albania, but also benefited from 20 million euros from the Albanian Development Fund. This amount, according to documented data, has benefited through 3 tenders awarded between 2019-2021.

Thus, the ADF led by Dritan Agolli in 2019 announced the winner of the Russian oligarch’s company “Trema Engieenering 2” for the reconstruction of the Korçë-Përrenjas water supply network, with a value of 10 million euros. A year later, in 2020, the Albanian Development Fund awards another tender to the Russian billionaire’s company, which is exactly the tender worth about 2 million euros for the construction of the road network and urban infrastructure of Shijak as part of the reconstruction process. in 2021. This time, the Albanian Development Fund gives him the Tender worth about 8 million euros for the reconstruction of the Peshkepi road segment, the entrance to the city of Selenica.

Oleg Deripaska had been the ultimate significant owner of the company “TREMA ENGINEERING 2” when it received 20 million euros in tender awards in Albania according to data published on the OpenCorporates.al website. The parent company and owner of this entity until 2022 was STRABAG AG, a joint stock company incorporated in Austria where Deripaska was a major owner until 2022. I wrote about how Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank financed a 500-million-euro loan for Deripaska’s investment in STRABAG in 2008 in this story on Trump Toronto which was financed by Raiffeisen in 2007.

Deripaska’s ‘Agent-1’ Sergey Fokin

Sergey Fokin who paid McGonigal for the work for Deripaska is reportedly close to ex Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko, who was filmed with Deripaska on a yacht discussing the U.S. election. Prikhodko was described in the Mueller report because he had invited both Trump and Ivanka to attend the July 2016 Forum in St. Petersburg Russia, although they did not attend.

McGonigal’s lawyer Seth DuCharme

One interesting aspect in the case against McGonigal is his choice of Seth DuCharme as his lawyer. As Marcy Wheeler wrote :

But by far the most interesting lawyer involved in this case is McGonigal’s defense attorney: Seth DuCharme, a top Billy Barr aide who was at the center of numerous Barr efforts to protect Trump associates. Including Rudy. Especially Rudy.

Note: this piece may be revised periodically with updates and new information.


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