Feds raid home of State Department worker embroiled in $52 million contract abuse case

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Federal investigators raided the home of former State Department contractor Kathleen McGrade on Thursday morning. At least eight vehicles belonging to federal investigators were on scene when The Daily Caller arrived. An unverifiable number of investigators were inside the home.

Neighbors told TheDC that a team of federal agents entered the home at 8:42 a.m. with a large number of boxes, and it appeared as though they were looking for evidence. The neighbors said McGrade and husband Brian Collinsworth were both in the home at the time, and spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid conflicts with others in the posh northern Virginia neighborhood.

“We knew [a raid of the home] was going to happen eventually,” one neighbor said. “It was only a matter of time.”

McGrade was a contractor working for the State Department’s office of Overseas Building Operations. She handled disbursement of millions of dollars in taxpayer money, and facilitated the award of more than $52 million in contracts to her husband’s company, the Sterling Royale Group.

Collinsworth previously denied during a phone call with TheDC that he was married to McGrade. Jennifer Herring, McGrade’s daughter, was a principal with Sterling Royale as well.

State Department officials fired McGrade within hours of when The Daily Caller first published its exclusive July investigation into the contracting abuse. Spokespersons for the Office of Inspector General at State have not said officially whether or not they’re pursuing charges against McGrade, but the Thursday morning raid on her family’s home indicates a full-blown investigation.

McGrade, Herring and Collinsworth were likely able to pull off the alleged scheme over the course of at least two years because they all had different last names.

Federal agents were still in the Fredericksburg, Va., home when The Daily Caller arrived on scene, but declined comment and referred TheDC back to the State Department’s Washington, D.C. headquarters for comment. It’s unclear if McGrade and Collinsworth were still in the home at that point, if they had left on their own, or if arrests were made.

Doug Welty, a spokesman for the State Department’s Office of Inspector General, told TheDC his office does not comment on any pending, current or past investigations.

The house sits on a corner lot and fits in with rest of the newly developed neighborhood. It sports a front-yard fountain, a fresh brick facade, and well-manicured landscaping.

Stafford County, Va. records available online from the National Association of Realtors show that the 5,124-square-foot house was built in 2009. It has four bedrooms and four and one-half bathrooms, and originally sold in December 2009 for $676,165. By 2010, however, the county assessor valued the home at just $543,200.

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