Violence in Boston nonprofit shuts down amid federal investigation into landlord fraud Monica Cannon-Grant, Clark Grant
The nonprofit organization Violence in Boston has closed amid a federal investigation into fraud on its husband and wife owners Monica Cannon-Grant and Clark Grant.
Cannon-Grant announced the organization’s closure in a Facebook post on Wednesday, July 6.
“I can’t say if the decision to disband the organization was easy because that decision was made by the Violence in Boston Board of Directors,” Cannon-Grant wrote. “What I can say with confidence is that I fought, and community members fought, to keep our services at Violence in Boston, which included our food pantry and emergency housing and at short term for victims of violence.”
The decision was made by the board of directors of Violence in Boston, the says the organization’s website.
The nonprofit’s husband-and-wife founders face nearly 20 federal fraud charges for what investigators say was a scheme to use money intended for their social activism organization to pay to instead a long list of personal expenses and luxuries.
Officials said the couple used the organization ‘like a vehicle’ to pay for everything from nail treatments and hotel vacations to thousands of dollars worth of meals at Bubba Gump Shrimp, Shake Shack and other restaurants .
Cannon-Grant, 41, was arrested Tuesday morning, March 15, following the couple’s indictment by a federal grand jury for defrauding Violence in Boston, its donors and the Massachusetts Unemployment Assistance Department, according to the United States Attorney’s Office. Grant, 38, had previously been charged with fraud in October.
Cannon-Grant and Grant received public and private funding and donations to support their mission, but instead used the money for hotels, groceries, gas, car rentals, car repairs, Uber rides, meals, food deliveries and vacations, federal investigators said. They did not tell other Violence Boston employees, the organization’s accountants or financial auditors that they had used the money for personal gain.
Officials also said the couple raised about $100,000 in pandemic unemployment relief while simultaneously raising various incomes, including from Violence in Boston. All the while, the couple told backers that the nonprofit was not paying salaries.
As early as 2017, Cannon-Grant, Grant and unnamed co-conspirators agreed to use violence in Boston for personal enrichment, prosecutors said.
In a message to Grant, Cannon-Grant wrote, “Unemployment grabbed my ass! He asked me to provide documents by June unless I had to pay it all back,” the Federal Court records said.
MassLive reporter Will Katcher contributed to this story.
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