New York Man Charged With Acting as an Egyptian Government Agent
(Bloomberg) -- A Capital One Financial Corp. banker was charged with acting as a foreign agent seeking non-public U.S. law enforcement information on critics of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Pierre Girgis, 39, of Manhattan, was arrested by federal agents on Thursday and charged with two counts related to acting as an agent of a foreign country without notifying the Justice Department, as required by U.S. law.
Manhattan federal prosecutors said Girgis, a dual U.S-Egyptian citizen, “operated at the direction and control of multiple employees of the Egyptian government” to further the country’s interests in the United States. The activity allegedly dated back to 2014, when El-Sisi, a former Egyptian general, intelligence official and politician became the country’s president.
According to his Linkedin profile, Girgis has been a vice president in business banking at Capital One since 2016. He also previously worked as a banker at Citigroup Inc.
Attorney information for Girgis wasn’t immediately available. Capital One didn’t immediately respond to an email request for comment.
Prosecutors say Girgis tracked and obtained information about political opponents of El-Sisi, and took direction from Egyptian government officials via encrypted text messages, according to a copy of the indictment unsealed Thursday. On three occasions in 2017, Girgis allegedly provided information about El-Sisi critics to a local U.S. law enforcement officer, and also set up and attended a meeting between U.S. and Egyptian law enforcement officials in 2019, prosecutors said.
A 2018 article in Inc. magazine described how Girgis helped arrange a trip to Egypt for around 100 New York and Nassau County police officers. Participants were introduced to a number of local officials there, including the mayor of Luxor.
“We did this to promote peace and to enhance a deeper relationship between the people of the U.S. and Egypt,” he told the magazine. “Even though this was an unofficial trip, it still carried an important international message of hope and cooperation.”
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