A spurned ex-lover of Charles McGonigal, former Special Agent In Charge Of The New York FBI Counterintelligence Division, allegedly turned him into the Bureau after he told her that he was not going to leave his wife and dumped her.
Insider reported that Allison Guerriero, McGonigal’s apparent lover, discovered a bag full of cash in McGonigal’s New York City apartment, comprised of large denominations, in October 2017. When she confronted him over the matter, he claimed that he won the money by gambling on a baseball game.
McGonigal told Guerriero that he had two high-school-age children and an “ex-wife” back in Maryland, where he visited a couple of times per month.
She claims that their affair lasted over a year and that he lavishly spent large amounts of cash that he had on her.
The Southern District of New York unsealed a five-count indictment against McGonigal and Sergey Shestakov on Monday.
The two men were charged with allegedly violating and conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and with conspiring to commit money laundering and money laundering. Shestakov was also charged for allegedly lying to the FBI.
The DOJ said that McGonigal, who retired in 2018, “supervised and participated in investigations of Russian oligarchs, including Deripaska,” during his time at the FBI. Shestakov is a former Soviet and Russian diplomat who later moved to the U.S. and became a government interpreter.
One of the most stunning allegations contained in the Insider report was that McGonigal allegedly was bribed to open an FBI investigation into a U.S. citizen who lobbied for an opponent of the Albanian prime minister.
Guerriero claimed that McGonigal used FBI resources for their relationship, including having sex in one of the Bureau’s vehicles and having a junior-level agent give her rides. She claimed that he was “caring, loving, and concerned” while she battled cancer.
When the two broke up in 2018, she claims that she got an anonymous hate note in the mail and that McGonigal later told her that he was married and was not going to leave his wife.
“I was shocked,” she said. “I was very much in love with him, and I was so hurt.”
She says that she hit rock bottom and began to drink heavily following the breakup, and that she later harassed his family, which led to a restraining order.
One day, after she consumed a large amount of alcohol, she says that she emailed another top FBI official and encouraged him to look into McGonigal’s dealings in Albania.
FBI agents later showed up and interviewed Guerriero over McGonigal’s business dealings, and she later received a grand-jury subpoena requesting communication records and other financial information related to him.
The DOJ released the following statement when they unsealed the indictment against McGonigal:
In 2021, MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV conspired to provide services to Deripaska, in violation of U.S. sanctions imposed on Deripaska in 2018. Specifically, following their negotiations with an agent of Deripaska, MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV agreed to and did investigate a rival Russian oligarch in return for concealed payments from Deripaska. As part of their negotiations with Deripaska’s agent, MCGONIGAL, SHESTAKOV, and the agent attempted to conceal Deripaska’s involvement by, among other means, not directly naming Deripaska in electronic communications, using shell companies as counterparties in the contract that outlined the services to be performed, using a forged signature on that contract, and using the same shell companies to send and receive payments from Deripaska.
MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV were aware that their actions violated U.S. sanctions because, among other reasons, while serving as SAC, MCGONIGAL received then-classified information that Deripaska would be added to a list of oligarchs considered for sanctions as part of the process that led to the imposition of sanctions against Deripaska. In addition, in 2019, MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV worked on behalf of Deripaska in an unsuccessful effort to have the sanctions against Deripaska lifted. In November 2021, when FBI agents questioned SHESTAKOV about the nature of his and MCGONIGAL’s relationship with Deripaska’s agent, SHESTAKOV made false statements in a recorded interview.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said that both men “should have known better” and that the Southern District of New York would “continue to prosecute those who violate U.S. sanctions enacted in response to Russian belligerence in Ukraine in order to line their own pockets.”
The Washington Free Beacon reported that McGonigal was involved with the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged links to Russia.
He was “one of the first” FBI officials to hear the story alleging that George Papadopoulos discussed Hillary Clinton’s emails with an Australian diplomat, the report said. The FBI opened their investigation based on that alleged conversation.
McGonigal was involved in the FBI’s investigation of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, the report added.