(Reuters) - The U.S. on Tuesday said it issued an arrest warrant and began a manhunt for Roy McGrath, the former top aide to an ex Maryland governor, for not appearing in court to face charges of wire fraud and falsification of records.
In June 2020, McGrath was appointed Chief of Staff to former Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who served from 2015 to 2023. McGrath left the role later that year and was charged in 2021.
McGrath pleaded not guilty in October 2021 and was released on bond, but did not appear in court on Monday when his trial was due to begin, the U.S. Marshals Service- part of the Justice Department- said, adding it "has initiated an interstate fugitive investigation."
It also issued a 'Wanted' poster with images McGrath from 2021, saying he is being sought for "fraud, converts to own use property of another, theft in programs receiving federal funds, and falsification of records in federal investigations."
McGrath's lawyer, Joseph Murtha, said in an emailed response to a request for comment from Reuters:
"I am unaware of Roy McGrath's whereabouts and share the concerns expressed by his family and friends about his well being. I hope that Roy is safe and that we soon have an opportunity to speak with one another."
(Reporting by Costas Pitas in Los Angeles; Editing by Caitlin Webber and Josie Kao)