Credit: NBC Boston
Black Lives Matter couple Monica Cannon-Grant and her husband Clark Grant became very involved in the organization and are now facing more than two dozen federal charges in connection to their involvement.
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A year ago this week, the married couple was charged with 18 federal counts in connection to their organization, Violence in Boston. They founded VIB in 2017 with the stated goal of reducing violence, raising social awareness, and aiding in community causes in Boston. VIB partnered with BLM, especially in 2020. In June 2020, VIB and BLM organized a Boston rally for George Flyod, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. There were thousands of people in attendance.
The Blaze reported:
Though VIB was a nonprofit that had raised over $1 million, Cannon-Grant and Grant allegedly used a significant portion of those funds for personal use. The 2022 federal indictment claimed that the couple had spent that money on gas, restaurants, personal travel and hotel reservations, nail salon appointments, auto repairs, and ride-share services.
There are also allegations that the two lied on a mortgage application and that Cannon-Grant had received more than $10,000 in grant money from a department store but had spent at least a third of that money on her rent. The board of directors voted to shut VIB down last July, according to a statement on the group’s Facebook page.
Now, federal prosecutors have added nine more charges against Cannon-Grant and Grant — 42 and 39, respectively — in connection to COVID relief funds. As in the previous indictment, the two are alleged to have spent the grant money on personal expenses.
The couple is also accused of defrauding other government agencies by misrepresenting their income. It was reported that Grant has been working a full-time job for a commuter services company, and had been since 2018. However, he “was receiving pandemic unemployment assistance (in addition to his salary),” according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins.
The indictment also claims that the couple lied about their household income so they could get $12,600 in rental assistance from the city and that they had forged an employment document to secure $44,000 in unemployment assistance for another family member.
In a sad incident, prosecutors claim that Cannon-Grant applied for and received a $10,400 grant from a Massachusetts department store on behalf of VIB in 2017. She told the store she would use the money “to purchase meals for needy children in the Boston Public school system.”
However, prosecutors claim she used more than $3,000 to cover her rent, and she never disclosed to VOB directors that she received the grant at all.
Federal officials estimate that the couple and their co-conspirators fraudulently obtained more than $145,000 through various schemes.
The couple now faces a total of 17 counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy, and one count of making false statements to a mortgage lending business. Cannon-Grant also faces extra charges of mail fraud, filing false tax returns in 2017 and 2018, and failing to file tax returns in 2019 and 2020. If convicted, the couple will face decades in prison and upwards of $1 million in fines.