Monica Cannon-Grant founded the non-profit Violence in Boston (VIB) in 2017 with just $1,000.
Then in 2019, the organization reported $85,000 in donations.
But it was in 2020, when Cannon-Grant ‘s and VIB’s profiles shot up, after the police killing of George Floyd.
She organized protests and championed the Black Lives Matter Movement in Boston.
A lot of people wanted to support the cause and, according to today’s indictment, Cannon-Grant took advantage of that. Her husband Clark Grant, a director with VIB, is also named.
Both face 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. The indictment also charges Cannon-Grant with one count of mail fraud.
Federal authorities claim Cannon-Grant “solicited and received over $1 million in donations and grants from individuals, charitable institutions and other entities.” The indictment goes on to say she “paid herself a salary of $170,092 in 2021.”
That same year she allegedly applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through the state of Massachusetts. When the Unemployment office asked her to submit more documentation to verify her funds, the indictment says, she texted the following to her husband Clark “”Unemployment caught my A**! Asked me to provide documents by June unless I’ll have to pay it all back.”
The indictment also shows an unnamed media company paid Cannon-Grant $26,000 for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training that she failed to report as income.
25 Investigates spoke with the former US Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling about the indictment. He says the allegations detail an abuse of money and abuse of the public’s trust.
“Following the tragedy of George Floyd these issues were very much in the public eye. People wanted to do good and wanted to donate funds. And if the allegations in the indictment here are true, these two individuals misused those funds for their own personal gain,” said Lelling.
In September of 2020, VIB’s Social Impact Center opened in Hyde Park. The 4,000 square foot facility received the support of then-Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
Walsh is one of many high profile figures Cannon-Grant has associated with, including current Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, former Congressman Joe Kennedy and US Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins.
Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.
©2022 Cox Media Group