BLM activists indicted on federal felony fraud and conspiracy charges

Federal authorities revealed Tuesday that a Black Lives Matter activist and her husband are facing federal fraud and conspiracy charges after allegedly defrauding at least $185,000 from donors through a foundation they formed. 

According to the US attorney’s office, Monica Cannon-Grant and her husband, Clark Grant, reportedly diverted money from their organization, Violence in Boston, to pay for rent, shopping sprees, hotels, car rentals, auto repairs, meal delivery, and a summer vacation trip to Maryland.

Two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one crime of conspiracy, 13 counts of wire fraud, and one count of making false claims to a mortgage-lending organization were included in an 18-count indictment against the pair. Cannon-Grant is also facing a charge of mail fraud. 

Cannon-Grant was detained and freed without bond on Tuesday. According to the Boston Globe, she will be allowed to work at the organization twice a week but will be unable to manage its funds. Grant was arrested by federal investigators in October and charged with falsifying a mortgage statement and fraudulently collecting pandemic unemployment benefits.

The couple founded Violence in Boston in 2017. Its mission, according to the website, is to “improve the quality of life and life outcomes of individuals from underserved communities by reducing the prevalence of violence and the impact of associated trauma while addressing social injustices through advocacy and direct services.”

According to the indictment, Cannon-Grant received unemployment benefits while working for a media firm on “diversity, equality, and inclusion” training and earning a $2,788 weekly pay from Violence in Boston. Grant had a full-time job with a commuter services company at the time. 

The couple is also accused of using the nonprofit’s assets to qualify for a mortgage to purchase a house in the Boston suburbs.

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