He died after succumbing to gunshot injuries following a standoff with police late Monday night, his attorney confirmed.
His death came after FBI agents raided the ex-GOP staffer’s home after he failed to appear for a federal trial on fraud charges over allegations he used his high-ranking position to steal more than $230,000 in state funds.
McGrath had pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud and falsification of records in October 2021 and was released on bond, but he did not appear in court for his trial.
Following his failure to show, McGrath was promptly declared a fugitive, leading agents to storm his $610,000 Florida home on March 15. The FBI hds said he was considered an international flight risk.
Indicted in 2021 on federal fraud charges, McGrath served for years as the chief of staff for two-term Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who left office this January after eight years of service for the Old Line State.
Roy McGrath, a chief of staff of former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, has died – just weeks after after he was declared a fugitive by the FBI
A three-week manhunt for fugitive Roy McGrath ended Monday evening in Tennessee with the ex-chief of staff to former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan shot dead
McGrath was located by the FBI in a car in the Knoxville area around 6:30pm local time, law enforcement sources previously confirmed
Set to appear in Baltimore for the start of his criminal trial last month, McGrath instead left his attorney standing alone on the steps of the city’s federal courthouse, leading US Marshals to release this wanted poster later that day
The U.S. Marshals Service, part of the Justice Department, said last month it had initiated an interstate fugitive investigation and published a ‘Wanted’ poster of McGrath.
Attorney Joseph Murtha said the FBI confirmed Roy McGrath’s death to him.
He added that it was not immediately clear if McGrath’s wound was self-inflicted or came during an exchange of gunfire with agents.
‘The loss of Roy’s life is an absolute tragedy, and I think it’s important for me to say that Roy never wavered about his innocence,’ Murtha said.
The FBI had said earlier that McGrath, once a top aide to a former Maryland governor, had been hospitalized following an agent-involved shooting, but declined to elaborate.
During McGreath’s arrest, an ‘agent-involved shooting’ occurred the FBI said in a statement
Feds swarmed this Naples home that McGrath shares with his wife Wednesday, less than 48 hours after he did not turn up to court. The couple moved to $610,000 home in 2020, after the scandal surfaced and McGrath was released on bond
‘During the arrest the subject, Roy McGrath, sustained injury and was transported to the hospital. The FBI takes all shooting incidents involving our agents or task force members seriously,’ an FBI statement said.
William Brennan, an attorney for McGrath’s wife, Laura Bruner, also confirmed the death and said she was ‘absolutely distraught.’
Indicted in 2021 on federal fraud charges, McGrath for years served as the chief of staff for two-term Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (seen here last year), who left office this January after eight years of service for the Old Line State
According to an email earlier from FBI Supervisory Special Agent Shayne Buchwald in Maryland, McGrath was wounded during ‘an agent-involved shooting’ around 6:30pm in a commercial area on the southwestern outskirts of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Hogan, who served as Maryland’s governor from 2015 to 2023, had considered running for the 2024 Republican nomination for president as a critic of Donald Trump. But Hogan announced last month before McGrath went missing that he would not run.
Hogan said in a statement he and his wife, Yumi Hogan, were saddened by the ‘tragic situation,’ the Baltimore Sun reported.
‘We are praying for Mr. McGrath’s family and loved ones,’ Hogan said.
After McGrath failed to appear at Baltimore´s federal courthouse on March 13, Murtha said he believed McGrath, who had moved to Naples, Florida, was planning to fly to Maryland the night before.
But instead of beginning jury selection, a judge issued an arrest warrant and dismissed prospective jurors.
‘I didn’t see this coming,’ Murtha said at the time. ‘This behavior is so out of the ordinary for him. Obviously his personal safety is a concern.’
McGrath was indicted in 2021 on accusations he fraudulently secured a $233,648 severance payment, equal to one year of salary as the head of Maryland Environmental Service, by falsely telling the agency’s board the governor had approved it.
He was also accused of fraud and embezzlement connected to roughly $170,000 in expenses that prosecutors say the disgraced aide lined his pockets during his tenure as Hogan’s top aide. McGrath pleaded not guilty.
McGrath resigned just 11 weeks into the job as Hogan’s chief of staff in 2020 after the payments became public and was slapped with a federal wire fraud charge.
Prosecutors alleged that he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state.
The state further alleged how McGrath also fibbed about the hours he worked over the course of his employment, taking multiple vacations on the state’s dime.
He was accused of falsifying time sheets while vacationing in Europe and stealing money for tuition for classes at Harvard.
During those excursions, McGrath’s 2021 indictment alleges, the ex-Hogan staffer spent funds designated for the state of Maryland on his own ‘personal expenses.’
That spending came to light after a sprawling report from The Baltimore Sun in the summer of 2020, that unmasked how McGrath had used his position as both director of MES and the governor’s chief of staff to ‘personally enrich’ himself with the fraudulent payments.
If convicted of the federal charges, he would have faced a maximum sentence of 20 years for each of four counts of wire fraud, plus a maximum of 10 years for each of two counts of embezzling funds from an organization receiving more than $10,000 in federal benefits.