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Charles McGonigal sends top FBI bosses into a frenzy

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Published: 18:35 GMT, 27 January 2024 | Updated: 18:36 GMT, 27 January 2024

Anxious FBI chiefs are trawling through ‘numerous’ top-level investigations spanning 22 years for fear they were compromised by convicted bureau spook Charles McGonigal, DailyMail.com can reveal.

The forensic clean-up operation ranges over the entire time the philandering former head of counterintelligence in New York worked for the agency.

McGonigal, 55, has already been sentenced to four years and two months in prison for taking money and conspiring with a sanctioned Russian oligarch who is a crony of despot President Vladimir Putin.

But the full possible repercussions of his treachery are outlined in a sentencing memorandum by the US government for another case in Washington DC, where he will be sentenced on February 16.

Prosecutors are demanding he gets another 30 months jail time and a $95,000 fine for hiding $225,000 in cash he received from an Albanian intelligence official.

And they reveal in the January 5 filing – obtained by DailyMail.com – that the FBI is so worried about McGonigal’s deceit that ‘sensitive’ cases dating back to when he became a special agent are being minutely scrutinized.

Charles McGonigal, 55, was sentenced last month to four years in prison for doing work for sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska 

DailyMail.com obtained a sentencing memorandum that claims the FBI is so worried about McGonigal’s deceit that his old cases are being scrutinized

The memorandum says: ‘Given the defendant’s senior and sensitive role in the organization, the FBI has been forced to undertake substantial reviews of numerous other investigations to insure that none were compromised during the defendant’s tenure as an FBI special agent and supervisory special agent.

‘The defendant worked on some of the most sensitive and significant matters handled by the FBI.’

The filing further warns: ‘His lack of credibility, as revealed by his conduct underlying his offense of conviction, could jeopardize them all.

‘The resulting internal review has been a large undertaking, requiring an unnecessary expenditure of substantial governmental resources.’

Married McGonigal joined the FBI in 1996 and started his career working on the investigation into the TWA flight 800 disaster, in which 230 died when a Boeing 747 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic near East Moriches, New York.

He was assigned to the New York field office during the September 11, 2001 attacks on America and joined a special response squad focusing on international terrorist threats post 9/11.

The rising star progressed to become supervisory special agent in the counter-espionage section at FBI headquarters in Washington in 2002.

Four years later he became field supervisor of a counter-espionage squad at the Washington field office, where he was assigned to help smash a network of Russian sleeper agents.

Prosecutors are demanding McGonigal gets another 30 months in jail and a $95,000 fine for hiding $225,000 in cash he received from an Albanian intelligence official. He’s pictured with his wife Pamela  outside court last year

McGonigal led the FBI’s WikiLeaks task force resulting in the 2013 conviction of former soldier Chelsea Manning

McGonigal later led the FBI’s WikiLeaks Task Force investigating the release of more than 200,000 classified documents.

This led to the 2013 conviction of soldier Chelsea Manning on espionage and related charges. She was sentenced to 35 years, but had the term commuted to seven years by then President Barack Obama.

By 2016 McGonigal was running the bureau’s cyber counter-intelligence coordination section, which analyzed Russian and Chinese hacking.

But in October that year he achieved the pinnacle of his career with his appointment by then FBI director James Comey as chief of the New York office’s counter-intelligence division.

This put him at the epicenter of some of the bureau’s most sensitive work, particularly in relation to Russian intelligence activities and US attempts to recruit Moscow’s agents. He retired in September 2018.

His 50-month sentence handed down at Manhattan federal court in December 2023 came after he admitted taking money for digging dirt for notorious oligarch Oleg Deripaska, sanctioned over his country’s occupation of Crimea.

The treachery was even more damning because he was tasked with investigating the notorious industrialist.

For the DC case, he has admitted concealing a $225,000 bribe from an unnamed former Albanian spy while he was working for the FBI.

McGonigal has admitted concealing a $225,000 bribe from an unnamed former Albanian spy while he was working for the FBI. Emails from March 2018 were obtained by DailyMail.com

DailyMail.com can reveal an email McGonigal sent on June 25, 2018, sealing the deal for a $225,000 bribe. The recipient’s name is redacted, while the subject line is ‘Bosnia’. There is a mysterious message in the chain from a redacted sender saying: ‘Some Albanian wants me to meet this guy. Can you check and let me know what I should do..’

The bribe was to arrange meetings for a Bosnian pharmaceutical tycoon with a senior US representative to the United Nations, preferably the then US ambassador to the organization and now GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley

The money was to fix meetings for a Bosnian pharmaceutical tycoon with a senior US representative to the United Nations, preferably then-US ambassador to the organization, now GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley.

DailyMail.com can reveal an email McGonigal sent on June 25, 2018, sealing the deal for the money. The recipient’s name is redacted, while the subject line is ‘Bosnia’. It is from what appears to be his private yahoo.com account.

McGonigal worked to secure a meeting with then US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley 

The message, contained as an exhibit in the government’s sentencing memo, reads: ‘In support of your efforts to work with (redacted) I would propose the following structure:

‘In furtherance of identifying, securing and scheduling a meeting with a representative from the U.S. United Nations, a referral fee of $250,000 will be due as soon as the meeting is confirmed and scheduled.

‘Once the meeting occurs, whatever the outcome, whether a second meeting is secured or no future meetings are secured or scheduled, an additional $250,000 will be due in 2 increments of $125,000 over a 6 month period from the date of the meeting.

‘Terms of this specific agreement with (redacted) are confidential and not to be disclosed to any third parties at any point during future meetings.’

Within the chain in which the email is sent, there is a mysterious message sent on February 14, 2018 from a redacted sender saying: ‘Some Albanian wants me to meet this guy. Can you check and let me know what I should do..’

Although the email mentions payments of $250,000, the Department of Justice says the charge relates to $225,000.

In a damning verdict on the treachery with the Albanian, the government writes in the sentencing memo: ‘Defendant Charles McGonigal supervised national security operations for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York without disclosing to the FBI that he had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from a businessman with ties to the Albanian government.

‘Not only did he take the money – in cash – without disclosing it as required by law, but he also advanced the business interests of his benefactor and lied to the FBI about their joint activities.

‘The defendant’s concealment prevented the detection of the actual and apparent conflicts of interest between his official duties and his private financial interests. This is, at its core, corruption that undermines transparency and trust in the integrity of the Executive Branch of government.’

And it added in a final blow: ‘The defendant was sworn to investigate and prevent crimes against the United States, not perpetrate them.’

McGonigal was charged with money laundering and violating US sanctions by trying to get billionaire aluminum mogul Oleg Deripaska off the banned list. Deripaska is a crony of Russian President Vladimir Putin 

The former spy chief made at least $200,000 a year in the FBI and $850,000 annually after he left and worked as head of global security for an international company. 

But according to prosecutors, the Albanian former intelligence operative – who now lives in New Jersey as a naturalized US citizen – said McGonigal told him he needed money because of financial pressures due to his upcoming retirement and college-age children.

McGonigal must report to prison on February 26 for the Russian oligarch case. DailyMail.com previously revealed a six-page letter from his wife Pamela to New York Judge Jennifer Rearden, in a doomed plea for mercy.

She wrote that ‘trying to explain to you how Charlie’s actions and his subsequent convictions have impacted our family is very difficult.

‘It brings tears to my eyes as I write this letter to you as the pain, anguish, mental and physical trauma this has caused is indescribable.

‘This was not our life plan or how life was supposed to play out for us….

‘After retiring from the FBI, Charlie was ambitious and was looking to provide a good life for us as a family, and I believe that led him astray and cause him to lose focus on the reality of his decision making and actions.’

She added at the end: ‘I ask you for leniency when considering punishment for Charlie as he truly is one of a kind and someone who our family relies on as a figure of strength and inspiration.’

McGonigal filed a plea for leniency to the court on January 9, begging for no more prison time. His attorney Seth DuCharme wrote: ‘To the heart of the matter, Your Honor, just punishment has already been imposed on Mr McGonigal.’

DuCharme asked for a sentence of between one to seven months, to run at the same time as the 50-month term.

However the other woman once in his life, ex-mistress Allison Guerriero, wants him to receive another five years on top, telling DailyMail.com exclusively: ‘What the government is asking for is not nearly sufficient for the American people to receive justice.’

Guerriero, a former vice president of US operations for Israeli security firm Mifram, previously told DailyMail.com after the New York sentencing: ‘I cannot wipe the smile off my face knowing that he is going to be incarcerated.’

The 50-year-old former mistress, who was with McGonigal for 18 months before ending their relationship in December 2018, may have sparked the investigation into the former FBI chief.

She discovered a bag containing $80,000 in rolled up bills at the apartment they were sharing in Brooklyn – and alerted authorities some months after the split.

At the time they were together, McGonigal’s wife Pamela was living with their children at the family home in exclusive Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside Washington DC. The spook went back to his wife after his affair ended.

In another exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Guerriero revealed how McGonigal’s lust for ‘spectacular’ sex was so insatiable he demanded it up to five times a day – every day.

She said he was so obsessed that he gave the sessions quirky names and was addicted to encounters where they might be caught.

Charles McGonigal’s mistress Allison Guerriero, 49, revealed to DailyMail.com how McGonigal’s lust for ‘spectacular’ sex was so insatiable he demanded it up to five times a day – every day

McGonigal even talked about sex the first time the couple met for what should have been a purely business lunch, complaining his wife was refusing to make love with him and he was ‘frustrated’.

‘Charlie was spectacular at sex… he was very driven in that way and needed it three, four and even five times a day,’ Guerriero said at her home in Delray Beach, Florida. ‘We ended up living together for nearly 16 months and it would be every single day. So that was a lot of sex.

‘We started naming it. So once the chilly weather set in, he would go out and get my coffee in the morning and come home and say, it’s peppermint latte sex time or pumpkin latte sex time, or whatever the flavor.’

Guerriero, who met McGonigal through his FBI boss, continued: ‘One time it was his daughter, Sarah’s 18th birthday and he said, Sarah’s 18th birthday sex. And I was just like, okay, that’s a little weird.

‘Everything became a sex name… it’s time for good morning sex. goodnight sex, shower sex, Christmas sex, Thanksgiving sex, I-signed-a-contract sex, I-made-a-sale sex – anything you, you name it. If there was flag day, it was flag day sex.

Guerrerio has also revealed an insight into how she claims her former lover draws people into his web saying: ‘Charlie is the devil and the devil never comes to you with red horns and a cape.

‘He comes to you with everything you’ve ever wanted. And all of us wanted what Charlie was giving us. Which was attention, money, laughter, inclusion, praised – and it was all phony.’

The former mistress has also previously blasted Pamela McGonigal for flaunting her designer bling on Instagram while her husband was facing charges.

Photos included posing in a leopard print bikini in billionaires’ playground Palm Beach while sipping wine by a pool.

After other shots at ritzy celebrity spots in the Florida city, she posted a photo of a Chanel bag and two cocktails at the Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan.

‘He brought her Chanel bag to court,’ said Guerriero. ‘She is just rubbing the blood money in everybody’s faces. And then she wants us to feel sorry for her?’

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