Monica Cannon Grant, a Boston activist, and her husband Clark Grant were recently charged with fraud for allegedly diverting money from their nonprofit group, Violence in Boston, to support personal costs. Prosecutors also charged the couple with scamming charity benefactors, committing unemployment fraud, and lying to a mortgage lender. The pair have been charged with “13 counts of wire fraud, two charges of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of conspiracy, and one count of making false claims to a mortgage lending organization,” according to Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins’ office. Monica Cannon Grant, who was detained on Tuesday, March 15, has now been charged with one count of mail fraud. She was eventually freed on her own recognizance. Meanwhile, her husband has already been indicted by a federal jury for his alleged role in a pandemic-assistance scam.
Everything You Need to Know about Monica Cannon Grant
Monica Cannon Grant is a well-known social activist and community organizer in Boston. She is best recognized as the creator of the non-profit group Violence in Boston. Cannon Grant has resided in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood for 17 years, according to her official website. She ran for State Representative for the 7th Suffolk District in 2016 but was defeated by 90 votes. The 41-year-old was also the executive director of the Tito Jackson Community Fund and a member of the Community Call advisory board. She is also a member and past head of the NAACP’s Young Adult Committee.
Monica Cannon Grant lives by the phrase “Our Community, Our Responsibility,” and she founded the Violence In Boston Inc. organization to improve the “quality of life & life outcomes of persons from underprivileged communities” by eliminating violence and the effect of accompanying trauma. In 2017, he spearheaded the “Fight Supremacy” march to oppose the “Boston Free Speech Rally,” and he was a key organizer of the “Hands Off Our Pride,” a counter-protest to the contentious “Straight Pride Parade.”
Cannon Grant is also a former Black Lives Matter activist who previously rallied almost 55,000 people to protest George Floyd’s death and other police-involved homicides around the United States. Monica Cannon Grant told The Boston Scope that she went to college for three years to become a nurse before embarking on her activism adventure. Following the murder of George Floyd, she received major media attention for her involvement in the country’s racial justice movement. Cannon Grant was selected Bostonian of the Year by The Boston Globe Magazine in 2020, as well as Boston Magazine’s Best Social Justice Advocate. The following year, Boston Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential Bostonians.
What action did Monica Cannon Grant take?
Following George Floyd’s murder in 2020, Monica Cannon Grant became one of Boston’s most notable social activists for her participation in the racial justice movement in the United States. She received further acclaim for launching the Violence in Boston nonprofit organization, which works to reduce violence and accompanying trauma. Cannon Grant and her husband, on the other hand, were charged earlier this week with fraud charges for allegedly misusing their organization’s assets for personal gain.
In a 38-page indictment, Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins accused Monica Cannon Grant and Clark Grant of using their charity organization “as a vehicle to financially benefit themselves and their designees.” According to The Boston Herald, the current indictment claims that Cannon Grant and her husband were engaged in years of schemes and diverted “a large quantity” of money from anti-violence and pro-services funds for their own personal purposes.
According to the indictment, between 2017 and 2021, Cannon Grant and Clark Grant sought and received more than a million dollars in gifts and grants from charity organizations, individuals, and other entities via fundraisers. However, the couple reportedly used the charity funds to pay for personal costs such as restaurant bills, automobile rentals, personal trips, salon services, and home finance, among other things. According to the indictment:
“Cannon-Grant and Clark Grant used cash withdrawals, cashed checks, wire transfers to their own bank accounts, and debit purchases, among other means, to redirect VIB funds to themselves.”
As an example of alleged misappropriation of money, the indictment said that in 2019, the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office awarded a $10,000 grant to Violence in Boston for anti-violence efforts. Cannon Grant and her husband, on the other hand, are accused of spending “$145 at a Boston nail salon, over $400 in grocery and Walmart purchases in Columbia, MD, and hundreds of dollars in meal costs in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maryland, including at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Shake Shack, and other restaurants.”
Monica Cannon Grant charges
The activist was also accused of spending “$1,211 in charges at the Sonesta Suites Hotel in Columbia, MD, as well as hundreds of dollars in gasoline, parking, vehicle rental fees, and ATM withdrawals, among other expenditures,” according to the indictment. Authorities also said that Monica Cannon Grant and her husband began receiving pandemic-related jobless benefits by claiming that they were not compensated for their labor at the nonprofit organization.
Monica Cannon-Grant, BLM activist under investigation by federal grand jury for misuse of funds.
The latest investigation into Cannon-Grant comes as part of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office which led to the arrest last October of her husband, Clark Grant. pic.twitter.com/N0fILBy1y6
— 🇺🇸Americanka🇵🇱 (@1AmKa3) March 15, 2022
Cannon Grant, on the other hand, reportedly received a $2,788 weekly compensation from Violence in Boston and earned more than $25,000 in 2020 and more than $170,000 in 2021. According to the accusation, the activist and her husband got over $100,000 in epidemic unemployment benefits, while the former made tens of thousands of dollars as a diversity consultant.
Authorities accused Monica Cannon Grant of filing bogus jobless claims during the pandemic in order to get benefits from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance:
“Cannon-Grant and Clark Grant utilized their unlawfully acquired PUA subsidies to pay for airline flights, new furniture, Amazon purchases, and to assist subsidize the price of Clark Grant’s motorbike, among other home and personal expenses.”
According to the federal jury, Cannon-Grant reportedly accepted $3,000 in contributions from the Cambridge Black Lives Matter group “to feed underprivileged children” but instead gave the money to a family member.
According to Monica Cannon-lawyer, Grant’s Rob Goldstein, the indictment was hurried, and the activist and her team were upset with the outcome:
“We are quite dissatisfied that the administration has made such hasty decisions here.” VIB and Monica have been actively collaborating, and their record production is still underway.”
The attorney further said that drawing inferences from records with suspected inadequate data does not offer a person a fair chance:
“Drawing conclusions from an insufficient factual record does not reflect the fair and fully informed process that a citizen, particularly someone like Monica who has worked persistently on behalf of her community, deserves from her government.”
Monica Cannon Grant was temporarily jailed after the indictment before Judge Judith Dein released her on personal recognizance with many restrictions affecting her profession. The activist is presently barred from applying for any loans, grants, or employment benefits, and she is also barred from working as an employee or volunteer in any capacity that would give her access to an organization’s money.