Indicted Russia-aiding FBI agent overwhelmed with 'all this money' and 'power players': mistress
Charles McGonigal Photo: AFP

The mistress of an indicted FBI agent this week spilled secrets about his use of a burner phone, mysterious contacts, envelope exchanges at upscale restaurants and a baggie full of cash.

Allison Guerriero was in a relationship with former FBI official Charles McGonigal when he was the bureau's special agent in charge of the New York field office's counterintelligence division, and she told Insider in a lengthy interview that he was lured by the lavish perks that came with his perch in a world inhabited by spies and oligarchs.

"He was out of his element here," Guerriero said. "He wasn't prepared for all this money, all these power players. He should have stayed in his cute little suburb, mowing his lawn, playing his softball games."

An indictment alleges that McGonigal used his authority to aide Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska reverse U.S. sanctions with the help of Sergey Shestakov, a former Soviet diplomat-turned-court translator who Guerriero saw hand McGonigal envelopes three or four times from mid-2017 to late 2018.

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"I just assumed that it was something Sergey had translated from Russian in court," she said. "Or something from a source. It could have been totally legitimate."

Or it could have been something more sinister, and the FBI is still trying to unravel how far back his entanglement goes with the sanctioned oligarch.

"What McGonigal and all these other chuckleheads don't understand is that for the Deripaskas of the world, this is like shopping at Walmart," said a Washington insider with decades of experience in international finance. "They laugh at how cheap Americans are to buy."

The right, including Donald Trump, say McGonigal improperly influenced the Russia probe into the former president, while some on the left believe he helped tip the election toward Trump in 2016, but the FBI insists it's a simple corruption case with no bearing on politics.

"We're the ones who put him in handcuffs," a senior FBI official told Insider.

Friends and neighbors describe McGonigal as an ordinary executive-level FBI agent, a centrist Republican who read The Economist and occasionally watched Fox News, but Guerriero said he told her he didn't vote in 2016 because he didn't like either candidate, and while he also boasted about playing on Trump's luxury golf courses he also seemed to disdain Trump's promise to "drain the swamp."

There's currently no evidence that McGonigal conducted espionage, but an FBI source confirmed an investigation remained ongoing, and Guerriero can't provide much in the way of a motive for her former lover's alleged crimes.

"He said he needed to make more money," she said. "He had two kids to put through college."