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Monica Cannon-Grant, a Black Lives Matter (BLM) in Boston, and her husband, Clark Grant, were slapped with an 18-page federal indictment on Tuesday for fraud and conspiracy.
Federal authorities allege that Cannon-Grant and Grant defrauded a large sum of donor dollars out of more than $1 million in grants and donations given to their nonprofit organization, Violence in Boston, which aims to help survivors of violence in the city.
Cannon-Grant, a prominent BLM organizer, was arrested outside her Beantown home on Tuesday and declined to comment at the courthouse after being released on recognizance, which means she will remain free without bail but with a promise. writing to appear in court.
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The BLM activist claimed her innocence online and, under the terms of her release by Judge Judith Dein, is allowed to continue working at her non-profit twice a week but cannot manage the finances. She will be summoned next week.
Prosecutors did not say how much money the couple allegedly took.
Cannon-Grant attorney Robert Goldstein said “we are extremely disappointed that the government has rushed to try here” in a statement outside the courthouse.
“VIB (Violence in Boston) and Monica have fully cooperated, and their record production continues,” Goldstein said. “Drawing conclusions from an incomplete factual record does not represent the fair and fully informed process that a citizen deserves from their government, especially someone like Monica who has worked tirelessly on behalf of her community. .”
“We remain fully confident that Monica will be vindicated when a full factual record emerges,” he continued.
Grant was arrested last October by federal agents who raided the couple’s home and had previously been charged with lying on a mortgage statement and illegally collecting pandemic unemployment benefits.
Along charge alleges that Cannon-Grant and her husband engaged in three different fraud schemes: lying on a mortgage application, defrauding donors and illegally collecting approximately $1 million in pandemic-related unemployment benefits.
The couple are accused of using a $6,000 travel grant for at-risk young men for personal expenses.
According to one trip proposal, the business was “to expose these young men to communities outside of the violence-ridden neighborhoods they navigate daily.”
Instead, the couple spared no expense on vacation, according to federal authorities, eating a meal at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., buying goods at Walmart and visiting a nail salon, among other expenses.
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Prosecutors also allege Cannon-Grant told the state attorney general’s office and the IRS that she received no salary from her nonprofit while paying herself $2,788 a week from from October 2020.
Cannon-Grant, 41, is the founder of Violence in Boston and was previously named “Bostonian of the Year” by Boston Globe Magazine.
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