Superseding Indictment Charges Former Executive Director of Maryland Environmental Service for Allegedly Falsifying Documents, Wire Fraud, and Fraudulently Obtaining More Than $276,731

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment adding an additional charge against Roy C. McGrath, age 52, of Naples, Florida, for falsification of records to the previous federal charges of wire fraud and theft in programs receiving federal funds.

The superseding indictment was announced by First Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, Phil Selden and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.  The United States Attorney has recused himself from this case.

“Honesty and integrity are essential elements of a public servant and those who operate in public trust,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, Phil Selden. “Together with our federal and state partners, our office will continue to investigate and prosecute public officials who attempt to violate their trusted positions.”

McGrath was appointed by the Governor of Maryland to serve as Executive Director of Maryland Environmental Service (MES), a corporation owned by the State of Maryland to provide environmental services such as water and wastewater management, solid waste management, composting, recycling, dredged material management and other services to state and local government agencies, federal government entities, and private clients.  MES, which was headquartered in Millersville, Maryland, generated its operating funds from fees charged to governmental and private clients for its services, as well as from federal grants and funding from federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Transportation.  MES functioned as an independent state corporation which did not pay its employees according to the state government pay scale but did require its employees to comply with state travel regulations, annual leave policies, and policies regarding compensatory leave, and time and attendance reporting.  McGrath resigned from MES as of May 31, 2020, to become the Governor’s Chief of Staff effective as of June 1, 2020.

Count Eight of the superseding indictment alleges that after press accounts of his “severance” payment from MES of a year’s salary or $233,647.23 occurred in August 2020, McGrath knowingly falsified a document which falsely purported to be a memorandum to the Governor of Maryland, referenced a salary of $233,647.23, and a severance package from MES.  The allegedly false memorandum contained a blue check mark, as characteristically used by the Governor of Maryland, in the “approved” box which created the illusion that the Governor had seen and approved the memorandum.  The allegedly false memorandum was backdated to May 18, 2020, which the indictment alleges was the date McGrath interviewed for the Chief of Staff position with the Governor.

The previously filed indictment alleges that to conceal the payments and circumstances surrounding the payments from the Governor of Maryland and the MES Board of Directors, McGrath falsely told the MES Board that the Governor was aware of and consented to the severance payment.  As detailed in the indictment, when the Governor learned about the severance package and questioned McGrath about it, McGrath falsely stated that the MES Board of Directors had offered him the severance payment in accordance with their usual practice.  McGrath also attempted to delete or caused to be deleted from the public minutes of the MES Board of Directors meeting, any mention of compensation of McGrath or the Executive Director of MES, or the amount $233,647.23, or the description of the compensation as a “year’s salary.”

The indictment re-alleges the federal charges previously filed against McGrath filed in 2021- specifically that from March 2019 through December 2020, McGrath personally enriched himself by using his positions of trust as the Executive Director of MES and the chief of staff for the Governor of Maryland to cause MES to make payments to McGrath, or on his behalf, to which he was not entitled.  One additional wire fraud charge has been added to the superseding indictment.

The previously filed federal indictment alleges that McGrath caused MES funds to be paid to a museum where he was a member of the Board of Directors instead of using his personal funds to pay his pledge to the museum; that McGrath caused the MES Board of Directors to approve paying McGrath a $233,647.23 severance payment—equal to one year’s salary—upon his departure from MES by falsely telling them that the Governor was aware of and approved the payment; that McGrath caused MES to pay tuition benefits for McGrath after he left MES by personally approving reimbursements for payments made by Subordinate Employee #1 on McGrath’s behalf; and that McGrath falsified his time sheets, reporting that he was at work while on two separate vacations in 2019.

McGrath also faces pending state criminal charges relating to an alleged illegally recorded private conversations involving senior state officials without their permission during his employment at MES and as the Governor’s Chief of Staff.  In the state case, McGrath faces a maximum penalty of any sentence that is not cruel or unusual for Misconduct by a Public Official, and a maximum of five years in prison for felony theft, felony theft scheme, misappropriation, and for each violation of the Maryland Wiretap Statute.

If convicted of the federal charges, McGrath faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each of the five counts of wire fraud; a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for each of two counts of embezzling funds from an organization receiving more than $10,000 in federal benefits; and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for the charge of falsifying a document.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

First Assistant United States Attorney Phil Selden commended the FBI for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Selden thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joyce K. McDonald, Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah R. David, who are prosecuting the federal case. 

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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