One of the left’s darlings is in some hot water with legal troubles. Progressive Boston activist, Monica Cannon-Grant, had the nation’s spotlight after the death of George Floyd in 2020. She became a leader in protests connected to the city’s Black Lives Matter movement.
Just this week, Cannon-Grant pleaded not guilty to defrauding donors who gave to her nonprofit organization called Violence in Boston (VIB). She is also being tried for using fraud to get pandemic-related unemployment benefits and making statements that were false to her mortgage lender. This is according to local news WBUR.
The husband of Cannon-Grant, Clark, is a co-defendant accused in several of these crimes. He pleaded not guilty as well.
It was reported earlier this month that Rachael Rollins, a Massachusetts U.S. attorney, arrested the couple and charged them in a “scheme to defraud donors to their non-profit, VIB.” The Boston Herald noted that prosecutors were alleging that the couple diverted donations to their VIB charity and used funds for their personal needs and wants. According to the prosecutors, the donations were used for things like nail salons, restaurants, hotels, and repairs to automobiles.
“The defendants did not disclose to other VIB directors or VIB’s bookkeepers or financial auditors that they had used VIB funds for such payments,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement.
But these personal expenses with donated funds were just the beginning. According to the Herald, the couple is accused of “conspiracy in connection with access to federal pandemic unemployment benefits.” And then there is the mortgage fraud. Apparently, they gave false information and fraudulent documentation. They listed the bank account and financial assets of the non-profit as their own assets on a mortgage application.
Prior to her arrest, Cannon-Grant confirmed on a podcast that she was being investigated, according to The Washington Examiner. But she defended herself by saying that other black leaders were jealous of her “meteoric rise ‘partnered with white supremacy’ in an attempt to bring her down.”
She explained that, in 2020, her organization went from raising $40,000 to $50,000 a year to a multi-million dollar organization. Cannon-Grant said that the more money they raised the more problems they had, and with the increase, the world took notice and gave them awards and accolades. She said that other black leaders said, “I want what she got. She don’t deserve it.”
The Examiner described Cannon-Grant as a “power broker” in Boston Democratic politics. She developed a close relationship with Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. This started when they both served on the Boston City Council.
In 2020, Cannon-Grant was named “Bostonian of the Year” by the Boston Globe. This was due to her activism after the death of George Floyd and her leadership in protests under the banner of Black Lives Matter. She took the lead in organizing a march in Franklin Park that saw thousands of people protest the deaths of Black people due to the police. She also organized a feeding program with the restaurant Food for the Soul in Dorchester. They gave away more than 1,000 free meals a day to people in hardship during the pandemic.
She was also given awards from Boston Magazine for her work with social justice. They gave her the title of “best social justice advocate.
In October of 2021, Cannon-Grant’s husband was charged with a criminal complaint of one count of wire fraud and one count of false statements on a loan and credit application.
I wonder what all those donors are thinking now about their progressive darling in Boston?