The FBI raided the Florida home of Roy McGrath after the former top aide to ex-Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan failed to show up for his trial on fraud charges.
His attorney, Joseph Murtha, told The Associated Press that agents were looking for evidence of his whereabouts.
The lawyer said he doesn’t know why Mr. McGrath failed to appear for his trial in Baltimore on Monday, particularly since he had an extensive conversation with him about the trial late Sunday.
“I haven’t a clue. I didn’t see this coming,” he said. “This behavior is so out of the ordinary for him. Obviously, his personal safety is a concern.”
Wire reports said Mr. McGrath’s wife was at the home in Naples, Florida, during the raid on Wednesday. She is cooperating with authorities and “seemed upset and bewildered” by the week’s events.
U.S. District Judge Deborah Boardman issued a warrant for Mr. McGrath’s arrest after he failed to show up in her Baltimore courtroom.
Mr. McGrath faces charges related to a payout he received after leaving as executive director of the Maryland Environmental Service to become Mr. Hogan’s chief of staff in 2020.
An indictment alleges Mr. McGrath falsified a document related to a severance payment of a year’s salary — $233,647 — so that it looked like Mr. Hogan approved it.
When asked about it, prosecutors allege, Mr. McGrath falsely told the governor the MES Board of Directors had offered him the severance payment in accordance with their usual practice.
Prosecutors also accused Mr. McGrath of misusing MES funds for personal expenses and falsifying time sheets to claim he was at work while on two vacations in 2019.
Mr. McGrath lasted 11 weeks on the job before resigning in August 2020 from Mr. Hogan’s administration.
He faces charges of wire fraud, falsifying a document and embezzling funds from an organization receiving more than $10,000 in federal benefits. The most serious charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.