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Yesterday I reminded you that, yes, I once danced with the santioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who has found himself, once more, in the headlines because a retired FBI agent, Charles McConigal, has been charged with taking money from him. A spokesperson for Deripaska told the New York Times that Deripaska did not hire McConigal for any purpose.
Over the weekend I phoned around to try to find out a little more about Deripaska’s VERY complicated see-saw relationship with law enforcement in the US.
Briefly, it’s emerged the FBI tried to hire him as informant in 2014-2016. They wanted inside information on Russian organized crime and Russia’s involvement with the Trump campaign (he said there was none).
And, before all this, back in 2009, the FBI had a working relationship with him–of sorts. He spent $25 million in helping the FBI try to find an American spy who was kidnapped by the Iranians, and has not been seen in years.
So when I started hitting the phones on this, I knew I’d find something because I know people who know Deripaska. But I didn’t think I knew someone who wore a wire for the FBI in a sting operation of which Deripaska was the target. But, that’s why you should always cast a wide net when phoning sources…
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