founders of Boston nonprofit charged with fraud | USAO-MA

BOSTON — The founders of a local nonprofit organization, Violence in Boston (VIB), have been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with a series of alleged schemes to defraud VIB and its donors, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance and a Chicago-based mortgage company.

Monica Cannon-Grant, 41, and her husband Clark Grant, 38, both of Taunton, were charged in an indictment with 18 counts of wire fraud conspiracy; a plot leader; 13 counts of wire fraud; and one count of making false statements to a mortgage company. The indictment also charges Cannon-Grant with one count of mail fraud.

Cannon-Grant was arrested this morning and will make her first appearance in federal court in Boston later today. Grant had previously been charged in a criminal complaint in October 2021 with one count of wire fraud and one count of misrepresentation on a loan and credit application. Grant’s arraignment date has yet to be set by the court.

Cannon-Grant is the founder and CEO of VIB, an anti-violence non-profit organization officially established in 2017 with a stated goal to reduce violence, raise social awareness and help community causes in Boston, among other goals. Grant is Cannon-Grant’s husband, a founding director of VIB and, until recently, a full-time employee for a commuter service company since July 2018.

The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to use VIB as a means of soliciting and receiving charitable contributions from institutional and individual donors which they then used for a wide range of personal expenses and to enrich themselves while concealing such expenses from the directors, officers and others of VIB. . Specifically, from 2017 through at least 2020, Cannon-Grant and Grant are alleged to have exercised sole control over VIB’s financial accounts and misappropriated money from VIB through cash withdrawals, checks collected, debit purchases and transfers to their personal bank accounts.

On numerous occasions between 2017 and 2021, Cannon-Grant reportedly requested public and private grants and donations in which she represented that the funds were to be used for VIB charitable purposes. However, it is alleged that Cannon-Grant and Grant used grant and donation money to pay for personal expenses, including, among other things, hotel reservations; races; gas; car rental; automotive repairs; Uber rides; Restaurants; food deliveries; nail salons; and personal travel. Defendants did not disclose to other VIB directors or to VIB’s accountants or financial auditors that they used VIB funds for such payments.

The defendants also allegedly conspired to defraud the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) by collecting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits while collecting income from various sources, including VIB funds used for personal expenses of Cannon-Grant and Grant. , consulting fees paid to Cannon-Grant, compensation paid directly by VIB to Cannon-Grant, and the annual salary paid to Grant by his employer for his full-time employment. According to the indictment, beginning in or around May 2020, Grant and Cannon-Grant fraudulently applied for PUA benefits, created by Congress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which they knew to be they were not eligible. The defendants allegedly coordinated the submission of false online applications and certifications for PUA funds, concealed their income, used fraudulently obtained PUA funds to pay for common household expenses and other personal expenses, and created and submitted false documents. in order to continue receiving weekly COVID-19 PUA Benefits.

Additionally, the defendants allegedly conspired to defraud an Illinois-based mortgage lender when applying for a home mortgage in July 2021. Specifically, it is alleged that from May 2021 or around July 2021, Grant and Cannon -Grant submitted to the Mortgage Lender false information and fraudulent documents that represented VIB’s assets as personal assets and concealed the fraudulent nature of Grant’s PUA earnings, as well as the fraudulent nature of the donation funds Grant received in order help with mortgage costs and closing costs.

If you have information regarding the crimes alleged against the defendants, you may contact the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts at: (617) 748-3663.

The wire fraud conspiracy charges each carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or double the gross gain or loss. of the offence. The conspiracy charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of probation and a fine of up to $250,000. The wire fraud charges each carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or double the gross gain or loss of the offence. The charge of making false statements to a mortgage company carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on US sentencing guidelines and the laws that govern sentencing in a criminal case.

First Assistant United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Massachusetts Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha; Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service; Jonathan Mellone, Special Agent in Charge of the US Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigation; Joleen D. Simpson, special agent in charge of criminal investigations for the Internal Revenue Service in Boston; and Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dustin Chao and Adam Deitch of the Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to mobilize Department of Justice resources in partnership with government agencies to scale up enforcement and prevention efforts. pandemic-related fraud. The task force strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by increasing and integrating coordination mechanisms existing ones, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their agendas, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information about the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Anyone with information about alleged attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or via NCDF’s online complaint form at: https://www. .justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a court.


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