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Boston BLM leader indicted on charges of stealing from her charity meant to help poor kids

Monica Cannon-Grant and her husband Clark Grant allegedly misused hundreds of thousands of charity dollars.

Published: March 17, 2022 10:21am

Updated: March 17, 2022 11:32am

A prominent Black Lives Matter activist who in 2020 received the title of "Bostonian of the Year"  has been indicted with her husband for allegedly stealing funds from an anti-violence charity for personal use.

Monica Cannon-Grant and husband Clark Grant allegedly conspired to use the charity Violence in Boston as a personal bank account. The couple was indicted on charges of stealing donations that were supposed to go toward purchasing meals for poor children, help at-risk young men and a variety of other charitable endeavors.

As the Black Lives Matter movement gained traction following the death of 2020 George Floyd while in police custody and the ensuing, nationwide protests that summefr, Cannon-Grant's profile grew and so did donations to her charity.

"With this larger influx of VIB funds, Cannon-Grant and Clark Grant began to help themselves to greater amounts from the VIB Bank Account," said prosecutors in an 18-count indictment. The prosecutors allege that beginning in October 2020, Cannon-Grant began paying herself $2,788 per week from the charity.

The couple is facing a combined 13 counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The couple was also charged with lying on a mortgage application on which they listed the charity's bank account as an asset in applying for a $450,000 mortgage last summer.

Additionally, the couple is accused of obtaining more than $100,000 in COVID-19 unemployment assistance. 

Prosecutors suggest that Cannon-Grant was defrauding donors to her charity as early as August 2017, when a local BLM chapter donated $3,000 to the group to support a program for children in need. Several days later, Cannon-Grant transferred the funds to a bank account belonging to one of her family members and the amount was withdrawn in cash. 

Cannon-Grant allegedly paid her rent with charity money and frequently made cash withdrawals from the charity's bank account to avoid leaving a paper trail. 

The couple also allegedly misused grant funding from the Massachusetts District Attorney's Office.

In early March, Cannon-Grant acknowledged that she has been under federal investigation since October. She said that members of the black community are jealous of her success, and those forces "partnered with white supremacy" are working to take her down. 

"The moment funding started coming in and the world started seeing us doing the work, which prompted awards and accolades, it was, 'I want what she got. She don't deserve it," she said. 

An attorney for Cannon-Gran said, "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."

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