A Black Lives Matter leader in Boston and her husband are accused of using a grant for at-risk youth in Philadelphia for themselves.
Monica Cannon-Grant, 41, founder of the non-profit Violence in Boston, and her husband, 38-year-old Clark Grant, were charged in an 18-count federal indictment, the US attorney’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.
In June 2019, she allegedly was provided a check for $6,000 for a trip to Philadelphia “to give these young men exposure to communities outside of the violence-riddled neighborhoods that they navigate daily,” the Boston Globe reported.
The couple instead used the money for personal use, including a three-day holiday in Maryland, meals at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Shake Shack, car rentals, trips to a nail salon, and spending sprees at Walmart, prosecutors alleged.
They were also accused of illegally collecting about $100,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits, according to the World, and claimed to a mortgage lender that Violence in Boston’s assets were their own to help pay for their mortgage fees and closing costs on their $450,000 Taunton, Mass., home.
Both Cannon-Grant and Grant have denied all allegations.
The couple face charges of wire fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements to a mortgage-lending business.
Cannon-Grant also faces a mail fraud count.
Defense attorney Robert Goldstein said he expects his clients to be cleared, adding they have cooperated with authorities.
“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,” Goldstein said in an email to the World.
Once named Bostonian of the Year by the World, Cannon-Grant allegedly paid herself a weekly salary of $2,788. Her annual salary reportedly jumped from $25,000 in 2020 to $170,000 in 2021.
The couple maintained exclusive control over the organization’s money matters, prosecutors alleged.