A federal grand jury accused Monica Cannon-Grant, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist in Boston, on fraud charges on Tuesday.
Cannon-Grant is a well-known BLM activist who rose to prominence in the Boston area after George Floyd’s death in 2020. She and her husband, Clark Grant, formed the nonprofit Violence in Boston, and Cannon-Grant is a prominent BLM activist who gained notoriety in the Boston area after George Floyd’s death in 2020.
An 18-count federal indictment was filed against Cannon-Grant and her husband. They’re accused of scamming donors, falsifying on a mortgage application, and receiving pandemic-related unemployment benefits illegally.
According to the allegation, Cannon-Grant and Grant gathered over $1 million in grants and donations for those in need, but kept a large portion of it for themselves.
The indictment claims that they used charitable donations to pay for petrol, restaurants, personal travel and hotel reservations, nail salon appointments, auto repairs, and ride-share services while concealing the true purpose of transactions.
Prosecutors allege that the defendants misrepresented themselves to donors and other charitable organizations as unpaid VIB Directors when, in reality, they had sole control over VIB financial accounts, used VIB funds to pay for personal expenses from 2017 to early 2021, and diverted VIB funds to themselves through cash withdrawals, cashed checks, wire transfers to their personal bank accounts, and debit purchases, among many other techniques.
Prosecutors claim that in 2017, Cannon-Donation asked for and received a $10,400 grant from a Massachusetts department store on behalf of Violence in Boston in a stunning occurrence. She informed the department shop that the funds will be used to purchase lunches for Boston Public School students in need. Prosecutors say she spent more than $3,000 on rent and never told VIB officials about the funding.
Cannon-Grant allegedly deceived the Suffolk County district attorney’s office as well.
She was arrested at her house on Tuesday and freed on her own recognizance by a court. Her arraignment is set for next week.
Her lawyer, Robert Goldstein, told the Boston Globe that they are very dissatisfied with the government’s hasty decision.