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Boston activist Monica Cannon-Grant Indicted On Federal Fraud Charges

Activists Monica Cannon-Grant and her husband Clark Grant have been indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges of fraud and conspiracy.

The founders of local nonprofit Violence In Boston were charged with allegedly defrauding donors to their nonprofit, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance, and mortgage lending business based in Chicago. The pair were accused of using funds for the nonprofit to pay for personal expenses.

On Tuesday, Cannon-Grant was released on personal recognizance during her afternoon hearing, and ordered to be unable to apply for loans, grants, or handle the finances of Violence in Boston Inc. Her arraignment was scheduled for the following week.

The 18-count indictment includes 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. Cannon-Grant was also charged with one count of mail fraud.

The indictment alleges that Cannon-Grant and her husband accepted donations and applied for public and private grants for their nonprofit, and allegedly used some of that funding for personal expenses like hotel reservations, groceries, gas, Uber rides, car rentals, auto repairs, and nail salons. The pair also allegedly did not disclose these purchases to VIB directors, bookkeepers, or financial auditors.

Cannon-Grant and her husband also allegedly conspired to collect pandemic unemployment assistance they were not eligible for by submitting false applications for the funds that concealed their income. They're also facing charges for allegedly submitting false information and fraudulent documentation when trying to apply for a mortgage loan last summer.

Cannon-Grant founded Violence In Boston as an anti-violence nonprofit back in 2017, with the goal of reducing violence, raising social awareness, and helping community causes in Boston. She and her husband allegedly had exclusive control over the nonprofit's funds until 2020 and would divert money to themselves through cash withdrawals, checks, debit purchases, and transfers to personal bank accounts.

In a statement to WBZ NewsRadio, Cannon-Grant's attorney said the government rushed judgment in the case and that the couple had been fully cooperating with the investigation.

"Drawing conclusions from an incomplete factual record does not represent the fair and fully informed process a citizen deserves from its government, especially someone like Monica who has worked tirelessly on behalf of her community," the statement read. "We remain fully confident Monica will be vindicated when a complete factual record emerges."

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