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VOA: McGonigal is expected to plead guilty to charges that he took money from the former Albanian intelligence officer

VOA: McGonigal is expected to plead guilty to charges that he took money from

Former FBI official Charles McGonigal is expected to plead guilty Friday to charges related to taking and concealing $225,000 from a former Albanian intelligence officer who, according to court records, became a source in an investigation. of the FBI.

The court agenda shows he is expected to appear in a hearing Friday afternoon.

The guilty plea, although it is not known specifically to what charges, will be a change from his not guilty plea at the start of the trial.

Asked by VOA what charge Mr. McGonigal will plead guilty to, one of his attorneys, Seth Ducharme, declined to comment.

The most serious charges against Mr. McGonigal carry a maximum sentence of 20 years, but the guilty plea appears to be part of a deal with prosecutors for a reduced sentence.

Almost always such a hearing means that both parties have reached an agreement and the purpose of the hearing is to present the agreement to the judge for approval. The judge almost always approves of it. Reaching a settlement would mean the case would not go to trial.

After Friday's hearing, there will be at least one more sentencing hearing. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly will grant it at a later date.

The indictment filed against Mr. McGonigal in Washington federal court has nine counts, including that he received at least $225,000 from the Albanian-American later identified as Agim Neza, a former Albanian intelligence officer, in exchange for of promoting his business interests without notifying the FBI of his connections with it.

The charges were related to concealment of material facts, false statements and falsification of documents related to relations with the Albanian-American Neza, receiving from him 225 thousand dollars, trips insured by him and others and not declaring them, undeclared trips, contacts with foreign citizens, including the Prime Minister of Albania and declaring his position in contacts with them, despite the fact that he was meeting them in a private and unofficial capacity.

For part of this period, Charles McGonigal worked for the FBI's counterintelligence division until he left the FBI in September 2018, covering Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, among others.

The former top FBI counterintelligence official pleaded guilty in August in a New York court to charges of violating US sanctions on Russia by working after retirement for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, whom he previously had investigated it.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped other charges related to Mr. McGonigal's collusion with Deripaska. VOA


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