When money takes precedent over morals, bad things tend to happen.
Monica Cannon-Grant, CEO and founder of the nonprofit Violence in Boston, found that out the hard way after she and her husband were indicted then charged with federal fraud crimes. The couple allegedly used money from their nonprofit organization for lavish spending and personal expenses.
According to officials, the husband-and-wife tandem used public and private funding for hotels, groceries, gas, car rentals, food deliveries, Uber rides, and vacations instead of supporting their organization. The two also kept employees in the dark, hiding their fraudulent crimes from bookkeepers and financial auditors.
Monica Cannon-Grant and her husband’s elaborate scheme to use their social justice organization to enrich themselves took advantage of people on so many levels.
Court records show the couple had been stealing money through their nonprofit for years.
Officials say the couple collected $100,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
The organization received $10,400 from a Massachusetts department store to buy meals from poor school children in Boston Public Schools. According to court documents, the couple used the money to pay their $3000 a month rent expense.
Court documents also show Violence in Boston received $6000 from Massachusetts District Attorney’s office through a grant meant to help at-risk young men in Boston attend a “Violence Prevention Retreat” in Philadelphia. The couple allegedly spent $145 to get Grant’s nails done, $400 in Walmart, and hundreds more on restaurants and hotel stays.
Monica Cannon-Grant speaks during a Black Lives Matter rally in front of Boston Police Headquarters on September 22, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Monica Cannon-Grant and Clark Grant both face 13 counts of wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of conspiracy, and one count of making false statements to a mortgage lending company.
Clark Grant also faces an additional count of mail fraud.
According to their website Violence In Boston’s mission is to improve the quality of life and life outcomes of individuals from underserved communities by reducing the prevalence of violence and the impact of associated trauma while addressing social injustices through advocacy and direct services.
But, after their recent arrest, this mission statement just seems like a con.
Black and brown people have it rough enough. Organizations that try to get rich by benefiting from our pain for personal gains only set us back even further.