‘Violence in Boston’ leader arrested, indicted for fraud

Monica Cannon-Grant

A federal grand jury has indicted Monica Cannon-Grant, the founder of the anti-crime nonprofit Violence in Boston, on charges that include siphoning money out of the non-profit, defrauding the state’s pandemic unemployment system, and lying to a mortgage lender, the US Attorney’s office said on Tuesday, noting that she had been arrested that morning.

The 41-year-old Cannon-Grant and her husband, Clark Grant, 38, who live in Taunton, are charged in an 18-count indictment with two counts of wire fraud conspiracy; one count of conspiracy; 13 counts of wire fraud; and one count of making false statements to a mortgage lending business.

The indictment also charges Cannon-Grant with one count of mail fraud. Clark Grant was indicted last October on a smaller number of charges of unemployment and mortgage fraud.

Cannon-Grant started Violence in Boston in 2017 and has since raised some $1 million from individuals, grants from institutions, and the government to combat violence and aid community causes - for example, through a food pantry at its headquarters on River Street in Hyde Park. 

The indictment charges that the couple said they were doing the work for free when, in fact, Cannon-Grant withdrew “a substantial amount” of money from the charity’s Bank of America and PayPal accounts for personal purposes - and that they tried to conceal those actions from the group’s bookkeeper and auditors - and from state and federal agencies.

They also allegedly conspired to defraud the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) by collecting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits while at the same time collecting income from a variety of sources, including VIB funds utilized for Cannon-Grant and Grant’s personal expenses.

The indictment additionally alleges that the couple used Violence in Boston revenue to obtain a mortgage on their home in Taunton. Grant had earlier been charged with doing this after he was initially rejected for a mortgage because he only had $1,000 in his bank account at the time.
An employee at TechBoston Academy has been charged with two counts of “lascivious posing a child in a state of nudity.” Ernest Logan, 31, who works as a technician at the school, was arraigned Monday in the West Roxbury Division of Boston Municipal Court. He allegedly encouraged the victim to send him sexual images. The victim’s family contacted Boston Police, who arrested Logan last Friday. He is due back in court next month. Bail was set in the amount of $3,000 with orders that Logan stay away from the victim and the school.

A fight among a group of “juveniles” resulted in a stabbing near the trolley platform at Ashmont station on Monday afternoon. Two teens suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to MBTA Transit Police. The incident disrupted service along the Ashmont-Mattapan trolley line for a few hours. No arrests were reported.

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