A married couple in Boston who became heavily involved in the Black Lives Matter movement several years ago are now facing more than two dozen federal charges in connection to their activism.
This week marks one year since Monica Cannon Grant and Clark Grant were indicted on 18 federal criminal charges in connection to their organizations’ violence in Boston. The pair founded VIB in 2017 with the stated goal of reducing violence, raising social awareness, and aiding community cause in Boston, according to NECN. VIB partnered with BLM in the ensuing years, especially in 2020. That June, VIB, and BLM organized a Boston rally and vigil for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and thousands reportedly attended.
Even though VIB had raised over $1 million, Grant, Cannon-Grant, and others allegedly used the money for personal travel, gasoline, restaurant reservations, personal travel, and hotel reservations.
There are also allegations that the two lied on a mortgage application and that Cannon-Grant had received more than $10,000 in grant money from a department store but had spent at least a third of that money on her rent. The board of directors voted to shut VIB down last July, according to a statement on the group’s Facebook page.
Nine additional charges were added by federal prosecutors against Grant and Cannon Grant — respectively 42 and 39 — in relation to COVID relief funds. Both are accused of using grant money for personal expenses just like in the previous indictment.
They are also accused of falsely claiming income to defraud government agencies. He was employed at this job since 2018, Boston.com reported. Grant was also receiving unemployment aid for pandemic reasons, according to Rachael Rolleins’ statement.
The indictment also claimed that the couple lied about their household income so that they could secure $12,600 in rental assistance from the city and that they had forged an employment document to secure $44,000 in unemployment assistance for a family member. Federal officials estimate that, in all, Cannon-Grant and Grant and their co-conspirators fraudulently obtained more than $145,000 through various schemes.
The two now face a total of 17 counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy, and one count of making false statements to a mortgage lending business. Cannon-Grant also faces separate charges of mail fraud, filing false tax returns in 2017 and 2018, and failing to file tax returns in 2019 and 2020. If convicted, the couple could face decades in prison and upwards of $1 million in fines.