Non-profit organizer and community activist, Monica Cannon-Grant, and her husband Clark Grant have been charged with federal fraud in an 18-count indictment handed down Tuesday by a Boston grand jury. The couple is alleged to have used funds belonging to “Violence in Boston,” a non-profit created by Cannon-Grant, for their personal benefit.
The indictment details an alleged series of financial schemes used to defraud donors to the charitable organization, a mortgage lender that gave the couple a loan, and the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance.
The couple faces 13 counts of wire fraud and one count of intentionally making false statements to a mortgage lender. Cannon-Grant also faces a single count of federal mail fraud.
Grant was previously charged individually last October with one count of wire fraud and one count of making false statements on a loan application. Federal prosecutors have alleged that Grant listed the Violence in Boston bank account as his personally owned property when applying for a $402,000 mortgage for the house he bought with his wife last July.
Violence in Boston was established in 2017, with its charter declaring its purpose is to “reduce violence, raise social awareness and aid community causes in Boston.”
Cannon-Grant is currently listed as CEO of the non-profit, with Grant listed as a founding director. She started the charity with $1,000 and currently operates Violence in Boston from a 4,000 square-foot headquarters.
Violence in Boston was awarded a $53,977 grant from the city of Boston in 2020 and received a $100,000 donation from the Cummings Foundation.
Cannon-Grant has been a prominent part of the Black Lives Matter movement. She organized a march in Boston in 2020 that drew thousands of protestors who marched against police departments. That year, Boston Globe declared her Bostonian of the Year, and Boston Magazine honored her as the city’s “best social justice advocate.”
As reports surfaced last week of the grand jury investigation, she defended herself by saying she was being targeted by “white supremacists,” the government, and a group of Black people who are “jealous of her success.”
The charges against the couple allege that between 2017 and 2021 the couple used donations and grant monies contributed to the organization for personal expenses, including hotel reservations, food, gas, car repairs, nail salons and personal travel expenses.
Prosecutors also allege that the couple collected Pandemic Unemployment Assistance from the State of Massachusetts despite having income from various sources. The couple allegedly represented that they were unemployed while taking income from Violence in Boston, Grant’s full-time employment, and assorted consulting fees.
Cannon-Grant was arrested pursuant to the indictment on Tuesday morning with arraignment expected shortly thereafter. An arraignment for Clark Grant had not yet been scheduled, as of Tuesday morning.