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A federal grand jury has indicted a social justice activist whom the liberal Boston Globe magazine named a Bostonian of the Year in 2020.
High-profile local activist Monica Cannon-Grant, who founded and served as the CEO of the nonprofit organization Violence in Boston (VIB), which has a goal of reducing violence primarily in underserved communities, faces numerous charges in connection to alleged fraud.
Cannon-Grant reportedly rose to prominence, in part, for leading several BLM protests in the Boston area following the death of George Floyd in 2020. She was also named as in the Heroes Among Us program by the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association.
“Cannon-Grant, 41, and [husband] Clark Grant, 38, were charged in an 18-count indictment alleging the couple spent financial donations to the nonprofit on themselves, using the cash to pay for hotel reservations, gas, restaurant meals, food deliveries, nail salon services, and personal travel, while concealing their transactions from bookkeepers, directors, and financial auditors. The two also received roughly $100,000 in unemployment benefits they were not entitled to, officials allege,” Boston.com reported.
The couple also allegedly made false statements to a mortgage lender when they sought to obtain a $400,000 home mortgage.
Here is Monica Cannon-Grant leaving the Moakley federal courthouse. She did not want to make a comment, and left in a black SUV. Her lead defense attorney Robert Goldstein says he is very disappointed by her arrest and they’ve been cooperating fully with investigators. pic.twitter.com/GYjaThkgKV
— Jonathan Hall (@JHall7news) March 15, 2022
According to a filing from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston, Cannon-Grant’s salary jumped from about $25,000 in 2020 to approximately $170,000 last year.
In the 2017-2021 time frame, the couple allegedly received $1 million in donations to their organization from both individuals and charitable institutions, and other entities.
Prosecutors allege that the Grants, plus other “co-conspirators” used the nonprofit “as a vehicle to personally enrich themselves and their designees” by defrauding VIB donors and grant issuers.
The allegations, which include 13 counts of wire fraud, are detailed in the indictment embedded below.
The organization, among other things, allegedly received a $6,000 grant from the Suffolk County district attorney’s office while Rachael Rollins was in charge.
President Biden has promoted Rollins to U.S. Attorney, which suggests that Rollins may have to recuse herself from this case and allow underlings in her office to handle this prosecution.
Prosecutors and Cannon-Grant’s attorneys are reportedly working on the “parameters” to allow Cannon-Grant to continue to work at Violence in Boston as long as she has no access to the organization’s funding.
Watch a report aired by ABC affiliate WCVB:
One of her lawyers insists that Cannon-Grant is cooperating with the investigation and expressed confidence that she will be ultimately vindicated when all the facts emerge.
As with any indictment, which is a one-sided rendition of the facts as the prosecution sees it, the presumption of innocence applies.
Back in 2020, in an incident that was generally ignored by the corporate media, Cannon-Grant reportedly posted to Facebook a vulgar, racially charged rant against Republican Rayla Campbell, who was then running for Congress against far-left U.S Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a member of the so-called Squad.
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