Ex-FBI counterintelligence chief pleads guilty to concealing payment from foreign official


One of the highest-ranking FBI agents ever to face criminal charges pleaded guilty for a second time on Friday to charges he concealed a $225,000 payment from an Albanian intelligence official while on the job.

Charles McGonigal, 55, admitted in federal court in Washington, D.C., that he took the cash payment in 2018 while he was supervising counterintelligence at the FBI’s New York field office. The Albanian official later served as an FBI source in a criminal investigation involving foreign political lobbying that McGonigal supervised, prosecutors said.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 16 when McGonigal faces up to five years in prison.

In this Jan. 23, 2023, file photo, Charles McGonigal, former special agent in charge of the FBI’s counterintelligence division in New York, leaves court in New York.

John Minchillo/AP, FILE

McGonigal, who retired from the FBI in 2018, previously pleaded guilty in New York to charge stemming from his ties to sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

He was arrested in January on those charges and is awaiting sentencing in that case.

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