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Fugitive Search Underway for Roy McGrath, Gov. Larry Hogan’s Ex-Chief of Staff

Roy McGrath, former chief of staff to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, is under investigation for failing to appear in court on Monday.

McGrath served as Hogan’s top aide for a few months in the summer of 2020 and is facing charges including wire fraud, embezzlement, and document falsification. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on bond. McGrath was due to appear in a federal court in Baltimore but is now considered a “wanted fugitive.”

The charges allege McGrath personally enriched himself by using his positions as Executive Director of MES and chief of staff for the Governor of Maryland to cause MES to make payments to McGrath to which he was not entitled by “falsely telling them that the Governor was aware of and approved the payment,” the Justice Department said. 

In October 2021, the former chief of staff was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of defrauding the Maryland Environmental Service (MES), a state-operated corporation, of a $233,647.23 severance payment– equal to one year’s salary. 

The indictment also alleges that McGrath directed MES funds to an art museum, on which he was a member of the board of directors, so as to avoid paying for a pledge out of his own personal funds. He also allegedly defrauded MES to pay for a tuition expense of more than $14,000, falsified time sheets during two vacations, and allegedly attempted to delete documentation from a board of directors meeting about his compensation.

McGrath was initially charged with wire fraud and embezzlement from an organization that received more than $10,000 in federal benefits, and later in June 2022, a superseding indictment charged him with falsifying records. On the state level, McGrath is facing felony theft charges and a violation of the state’s wiretap law. 

McGrath’s attorney, Joseph Murtha, said he doesn’t know where his client is and that he hopes McGrath is safe and they’ll “soon have an opportunity to speak with one another.”

Murtha confirmed that McGrath’s wife is unaware of her husband’s whereabouts but has spoken with law enforcement and is cooperating.

Prosecutors say that McGrath faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each of the five counts of wire fraud, a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for each of two counts of embezzling funds, and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for the charge of falsifying a document if convicted.

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