Federal authorities have added to the fraud counts against Monica Cannon-Grant, the founder and former CEO of Violence in Boston (VIB), and her husband, Clark Grant, a VIB co-founder.
In March 2022, the two had initially been charged with 13 counts of wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of conspiracy and one count of making false statements to a mortgage-lending business. Cannon-Grant was additionally charged with one count of mail fraud, for a total of 18 charges between them.
The new indictment, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, adds wire fraud charges stemming from alleged plans to use pandemic assistance money from the Boston Resiliency Fund, which provided pandemic relief, for personal benefit and other purposes not disclosed to the city, as well as new charges which allege the two fraudulently received rental assistance money from Boston’s Office of Housing Stability.
Both were charged with three counts of wire fraud conspiracy, 17 counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy, and one count of making false statements to a mortgage lending business. Cannon-Grant was further charged with mail fraud, filing false tax returns, and failing to file tax returns. In all, the new indictment lists 27 charges, and supersedes the 18-charge indictment (https://www.thenonprofittimes.com/npt_articles/violence-in-boston-founder-indicted-on-18-counts).
Both Cannon-Grant and Grant have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. They are slated to appear in federal court in Boston at an unspecified later date.
Christopher L. Malcolm, the attorney representing Cannon-Grant, called the allegations “More bullying from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.” In an email to The NonProfit Times, he explained: “Let’s take the allegations surrounding the Boston Resiliency Fund as an example: the accused properly submitted the required documentation regarding allocation of funds. After VIB received the funds, Monica provided a complete financial report showing use of funds, including all receipts as attachments. The innocent do not hide the use of funds, and the innocent do not hide from the reporting requirements — all of which were followed and submitted by Monica Cannon-Grant. She looks forward to resubmitting the receipts at trial.”
The new charges allege Cannon-Grant and Grant received approximately $53,977 from the Boston Resiliency Fund through VIB. The two then allegedly withdrew around $30,000 from the VIB bank account, some of which they are accused of keeping. They are also charged with using VIB funds to pay various vehicle expenses.
Separately, the two are charged with concealing thousands of dollars in household income from the Boston Office of Housing Stability to receive $12,600 in rental assistance funds. As part of this alleged fraud, the two are suspected of concealing the fact that Grant was receiving unemployment assistance while he was still pulling his salary. Additionally, at least one other family member allegedly received pandemic-related unemployment assistance while being gainfully employed.
The two are also charged with submitting a forged employment document to the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance, thereby enabling another family member to receive approximately $43,893 in unemployment assistance. In all, the defendants and related individuals are alleged to have received more than $145,000 in unemployment assistance to which they were not entitled.
Cannon-Grant is further charged with filing false tax returns for 2017 and 2018, and not filing any tax returns for 2019 and 2020. In doing so, she failed to report tens of thousands of dollars she received from VIB as well as a client to whom she provided consulting services, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts alleged.
VIB was a nonprofit that claimed to highlight disparities around violence within communities of color. The organization, which was launched in 2017, was shuttered in mid-July 2022 (https://www.thenonprofittimes.com/legal/violence-in-boston-shutters-following-founders-arrest/).