Aide to Former Maryland Gov. Killed After Fleeing Arrest for Fraud

April 4, 2023 by Tom Ramstack
Aide to Former Maryland Gov. Killed After Fleeing Arrest for Fraud
FILE - Roy McGrath, chief executive officer of the Maryland Environmental Service, speaks during a news conference at the State House in Annapolis, Md., on April 15, 2020. Federal authorities offered rewards of up to $20,000 Tuesday, March 28, 2023, as their search continues for former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s ex-chief of staff who failed to appear for trial on corruption charges two weeks ago. (Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Sun via AP, File)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A former aide to Maryland’s governor was shot and killed Monday evening as FBI agents tried to arrest him while he fled fraud charges.

Roy McGrath was confronted by law enforcement agents after he escaped to the Knoxville, Tennessee, area.

He was scheduled to appear for his trial beginning March 13 in Baltimore, Maryland, after being indicted on allegations he fraudulently obtained a $233,648 severance payment from the Maryland Environmental Service. He presented documents and told the agency’s board the governor approved the payment.

McGrath’s successful service as executive director of the Maryland Environmental Service led the former governor to appoint him as chief of staff. The quasi-governmental agency oversees wastewater management, composting and recycling for the state. 

He also was accused of collecting $170,000 in fraudulent expenses based on falsified records.

McGrath, 53, resigned as chief of staff for former Gov. Larry Hogan 11 weeks after being appointed when the charges against him became public. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bond.

The judge assigned to oversee his trial issued a warrant for his arrest.

The FBI offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to McGrath’s arrest after declaring him to be an international flight risk. The agency also released a wanted poster that listed aliases McGrath might use.

McGrath’s attorney said initial reports were unclear on whether he was shot by a law enforcement officer or the wound was self-inflicted.

However, the FBI issued a statement Tuesday saying, “The FBI reviews every shooting incident involving an FBI special agent. The review will carefully examine the circumstances of the shooting, and collect all relevant evidence from the scene.”

Early law enforcement reports from the investigation indicate both McGrath and an FBI agent fired shots when McGrath was intercepted during a traffic stop. It is unclear whether a self-inflicted bullet wound or an FBI agent’s shot killed him. 

McGrath was transported to a local hospital in the Knoxville area where he succumbed to his injuries. A family spokesman said McGrath’s wife was “absolutely distraught.”

Hogan released a statement saying he and his wife, Yumi, “are deeply saddened by this tragic situation. We are praying for Mr. McGrath’s family and loved ones.”

Joseph Murtha, McGrath’s attorney, called his death “a tragic ending to the past three weeks of uncertainty.” He said McGrath claimed to be innocent of the charges.

If he had been convicted on the federal charges, he faced a maximum sentence of 20 years for each of four counts of wire fraud, plus up to 10 years for each of two counts of embezzlement.

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