By Eryk Castro –
A Black Live Matter activist and founder of Violence in Boston (VIB), has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Monica Cannon-Grant, 41, and her husband Clark Grant, 38, both of Taunton, have been charged in an 18-count indictment with two counts of wire fraud conspiracy; one count of conspiracy; 13 counts of wire fraud; and one count of making false statements to a mortgage lending business.
The indictment also charges Cannon-Grant who was arrested this morning with one count of mail fraud.
Cannon-Grant will make her initial appearance in federal court in Boston later today.
The Justice Department says that “Cannon-Grant is the founder and CEO of VIB, an anti-violence nonprofit formally established in 2017, the stated purpose of which is to reduce violence, raise social awareness and aid community causes in Boston, among other purposes.”
The Justice Department alleges “The defendants conspired to use VIB as a vehicle to solicit and receive charitable contributions from institutional and individual donors that they then used for a wide range of personal expenses and to enrich themselves while concealing such expenditures from VIB directors, officers and others.”
During an investigation it was determined that from 2017 through at least 2020, “Cannon-Grant and Grant exercised exclusive control over VIB financial accounts and diverted VIB money to themselves through cash withdrawals, cashed checks, debit purchases and transfers to their personal bank accounts,” said the Justice Department.
The Justice Department also says, “On numerous occasions between 2017 through 2021, Cannon-Grant allegedly applied for public and private funded grants and donations in which she represented the funds were to be used for VIB charitable purposes. However, it is alleged that Cannon-Grant and Grant used grant and donation money to pay for personal expenses including, among other things, hotel reservations; groceries; gas; car rentals; auto repairs; Uber rides; restaurants; food deliveries; nail salons; and personal travel. The defendants did not disclose to other VIB directors or VIB’s bookkeepers or financial auditors that they had used VIB funds for such payments.”
According to court documents the defendants also allegedly conspired to defraud the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) by collecting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.
Additionally, the defendants allegedly conspired to defraud an Illinois-based mortgage lender when applying for a home mortgage loan in July 2021. Specifically, it is alleged that from in or about May 2021 through July 2021, Grant and Cannon-Grant submitted to the mortgage lender false information and fraudulent documentation that represented VIB assets as personal assets and concealed the fraudulent nature of Grant’s PUA income, as well as the fraudulent nature of gift funds Grant received in order to help pay for mortgage fees and closing costs.