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Federal authorities launched a manhunt on Tuesday for the former Maryland Governor Larry Hoganafter failing to appear in court on a series of fraud and other charges.
The U.S. Marshals Service tweeted that he had launched an interstate fugitive investigation into Roy McGrath, and that his office in Baltimore is now “seeking to apprehend the former Maryland governor’s top aide” after he was not in federal court in the Maryland Monday.
An arrest warrant has also been issued, the marshals added.
NBC News reached out to the agency for comment on the manhunt.
According to court documents, McGrath faces charges of wire fraud, theft in programs receiving federal funds and falsifying records in federal investigations, in connection with an indictment that he allegedly defrauded the Maryland Environmental Service, state owned.
A lawyer for McGrath, Joseph Murtha, told NBC News in an email that he was unsure of his client’s whereabouts after he failed to show up at 9 a.m. Monday. for an arraignment and jury selection for the trial before Judge Deborah L. Boardman.
“Unfortunately, at this time, I have no further information on Mr. McGrath,” Murtha wrote. “I hope he is safe and that we will have the opportunity to speak to each other in the near future.”
McGrath, who lives in Florida and has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, was released on recognizance provided he promised to appear in court as required and serve any sentence imposed as a result of a court appearance in October 2021.
According to the indictment, from March 2019 to December 2020, McGrath used his position at the Maryland Environmental Service to enrich himself by fraudulently issuing payments to himself. The agency operates as an independent state entity that provides waste management and other services to local government agencies, federal government entities, and the private sector.
Prosecutors also charged McGrath, 53, with illegally taping private conversations with senior state officials and falsifying his timesheets, saying he was at work while on vacation twice in 2019.
McGrath first joined Hogan’s office as deputy chief of staff in 2015. Hogan then appointed him head of the Maryland Environmental Service in December 2016.
McGrath then briefly returned to the GOP governor’s office, to serve as Hogan’s chief of staff in June 2020. He resigned months later after facing backlash after receiving a “severance pay” more than $230,000 for Maryland Environmental Service work before assuming his role as Hogan’s chief assistant.