Former U.S. Ambassador and National Security Council Official Charged with Secretly Acting as an Agent of the Cuban Government
Charles F. McGonigal, 54, a former FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office, pleaded guilty today to concealment of material facts for his undisclosed receipt of $225,000 in cash from an individual who had business interests in Europe while McGonigal was supervising counterintelligence efforts. The plea was accepted by U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who scheduled sentencing for Feb. 16, 2024.
According to papers filed with the court, from August 2017, and continuing through 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 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.
The charge carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia, Assistant Director in Charge Donald Alway of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office, and Assistant Director in Charge David Sundberg of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI Los Angeles and Washington Field Offices are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Aloi and Stuart D. Allen, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Friedman for the District of Columbia are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Deputy Chief Evan N. Turgeon of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided valuable assistance.