FBI officials searched Roy McGrath’s Florida home two days after his former chief of staff for former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan failed to appear in court to face prosecution for alleged federal corruption.
After McGrath, 53, vanished on Monday, leaving his lawyer, Joseph Murtha, standing by himself on the steps of the federal courtroom in Baltimore, he was listed as a wanted fugitive.
Murtha claimed that he thought McGrath had intended to travel from Florida to Maryland on Sunday evening to show up in court on Monday morning but that McGrath never did.
A judge issued an arrest warrant for McGrath and discharged potential jurors instead of starting jury selection as per the trial timetable.
Tuesday, the U.S. The federal fraud allegations against McGrath, who was indicted in 2021, prompted the Marshals Service to begin an interstate manhunt for him.
A grand jury indictment claims that he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state, including a false $233,647 severance payment he received after quitting his job as the executive director of the Maryland Environmental Service to work as Hogan’s chief of staff in June 2020.
The indictment claims he also misrepresented his employment while taking several trips and using state monies for personal needs.
As news of his extraordinary severance package became public in August 2020, McGrath announced his resignation from Hogan’s government. McGrath was taken into custody and later released on bond. He had to surrender his passport as a requirement.
Afterward, McGrath relocated to Naples, Florida, where he and his wife, Laura Bruner, witnessed an FBI raid on their home on Wednesday morning.
In a phone interview on Wednesday afternoon, Murtha, McGrath’s attorney, confirmed the search and said that investigators were probably looking for anything pointing to McGrath’s current whereabouts.
According to an FBI representative, agents “conducted court-approved activity at that location,” who declined to provide further details.
A representative for the U.S. Requests for comment from the Marshals Service were not answered. On Tuesday, they published a wanted poster for McGrath.
McGrath’s wife has been cooperating with investigators since his disappearance, according to Murtha, who just got in touch with her. When authorities searched on Wednesday, she was there at their home.
She appeared upset and perplexed, according to Murtha.
Murtha asserted that he had no reason to suspect that his client would miss the hearing. He claimed that they had a detailed discussion regarding the matter on Sunday night.
Later that evening, according to his counsel, McGrath was scheduled to fly.
“I have no idea. I didn’t anticipate this,” he said. “This action from him is unusual. His safety is a concern.
In December 2016, Hogan chose McGrath as the Maryland Environmental Service’s executive director.
The government and private clients of the state-owned firm can obtain environmental services like water and wastewater management.
Federal and state prosecutors claim that McGrath used his positions of trust as director of the environmental agency and Hogan’s senior advisor to profit himself personally.
Prosecutors claim he misled the agency’s board into agreeing to pay him a $233,647 severance payout — the equivalent of one year’s salary — upon his resignation as executive director by claiming the governor had previously approved the sum.