Founders of Boston non-profit Violence in Boston have been accused of using monetary donations to pay for personal expenses including rent, shopping, vacations and car rentals, reported The Boston Globe. Per a statement from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, the couple made false statements on various finance reports.
Monica Cannon-Grant and her husband Clark Grant were charged with two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, 13 counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy, one count of making false statements to a mortgage-lending company and one count of mail fraud, reported National Review.
From National Review:
The Cambridge, Mass., chapter of Black Lives Matter became an early donor to Violence in Boston, giving $3,000 to the organization for its program to feed children in need. The couple allegedly transferred that donation to the bank account of one of Cannon-Grant’s family members, according to the indictment as reported by the New York Post.
The couple also allegedly took a trip to Columbia, Md., in 2019 using a $6,000 grant the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office gave Violence in Boston to take ten at-risk young men on a three-day violence-prevention retreat in Philadelphia.
The following year, they were reported to have collected another $50,000 in donations. According to the indictment, the couple withdrew some of the money in cash or transferred the money to various investment accounts. On top of that, the indictment alleges they illegally collected $100,000 in unemployment benefits from the pandemic while each of them were employed and used the nonprofit’s assets to qualify for purchasing a home.
If they are proven guilty, it would be a major disappointment to those who supported them including the Cambridge chapter of Black Lives Matter that reportedly became an early donor to VIB. Cannon-Grant was named Best Social Justice Advocate by Boston Magazine and made Boston Globe’s Bostonian of the Year for her work, per National Review.
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Her lawyer said they are confident the charges will be dropped once a “complete factual record emerges.”
“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,” they said in a statement via by Fox News.