A group of law enforcement officers was sighted Tuesday morning outside the Florida home of Roy C. McGrath, the former chief of staff to ex-Gov. Larry Hogan who is considered a fugitive since he failed to show up Monday for his federal fraud trial in Baltimore.
Law enforcement also questioned McGrath’s wife, Laura E. Bruner, according to McGrath’s lawyer, Joseph Murtha. Murtha said Bruner is cooperating with the investigation and told authorities she does not know McGrath’s whereabouts.
UPDATE: FBI raids Roy McGrath home as manhunt continues
Multiple neighbors told The Daily Record that law enforcement had gathered outside McGrath’s home late Tuesday morning in his upscale gated community in Naples, Florida.
Murtha said that he had no updates on McGrath’s location. Murtha said he has stayed in touch with “anyone who (McGrath) might contact.”
“Everyone is very concerned,” Murtha said in a text message. “We are all hoping that he is safe.”
The U.S. Marshals Service distributed a wanted poster for McGrath, 53, on Tuesday afternoon.
McGrath is considered a fugitive, said Albert Maresca Jr., a supervisory deputy U.S. marshal.
“The U.S. Marshals Service and FBI are collaborating on the interstate investigation,” Maresca said.
A federal judge issued an arrest warrant for McGrath on Monday morning after he failed to appear in Baltimore for the start of his trial on fraud charges. Murtha said Monday that neither McGrath nor Bruner, 36, were responding to text messages.
Murtha said he last spoke with McGrath on Sunday evening and expected McGrath to meet him at the federal courthouse in Baltimore on Monday morning.
McGrath faces five counts of wire fraud, two counts of theft and one count of falsifying records in federal court.
The maximum sentence for the charges adds up to more than 100 years in prison, though federal defendants rarely receive maximum prison terms and McGrath likely faces far less time if convicted.
McGrath’s charges stem from his time as head of the Maryland Environmental Service, a quasi-public agency that offers environmental and infrastructure services to state and local governments and some private entities.
McGrath led MES from December 2016 until May 31, 2020, when he left the agency to become chief of staff to Hogan.
The indictment accused McGrath of fraudulently securing a $233,648 severance package, equal to one year’s salary, as he left MES for the governor’s office. McGrath led members of the MES board to believe that Hogan had approved of the severance payment, federal prosecutors say.
McGrath also faces charges related to tens of thousands of dollars in expenses he charged to MES, as well as his failure to take vacation time while visiting Florida and traveling on a cruise to Spain, France and Italy.
The final charge accuses McGrath of falsifying a document to make it appear that Hogan was informed of the severance deal McGrath was arranging for himself.
McGrath resigned as Hogan’s chief of staff on Aug. 17, 2020, after his severance package from MES became public.
Hogan has repeatedly denied knowing about the severance payment. The former governor was set to testify during McGrath’s three-week trial, which has been postponed while authorities continue the search for McGrath.
McGrath was allowed to remain free on his own recognizance at his initial appearance in court in October 2021. As a condition of his release, McGrath was required to surrender his passport to the clerk of court’s office in Fort Myers, Florida.