Boston Nonprofit Organizers Charged with Defrauding City

(AP) A couple who run a nonprofit aimed at reducing violence in Boston, already charged with using the organization as their own personal bank, now face allegations that they misused COVID-19 relief funds, federal prosecutors said.

Monica Cannon-Grant, 42, who founded Violence in Boston Inc., and Clark Grant, 39, were charged on Thursday in a superseding indictment with misusing funds received from the city of Boston and lying about their income in order to receive assistance intended for residents struggling to pay their rent.

The couple, who bought a house in Taunton, now face a total of 27 charges, including 17 counts of wire fraud, prosecutors said in a statement.

Grant’s attorney said via email Friday that she had no comment. An email seeking comment was sent to Cannon-Grant’s attorney.

According to the superseding indictment, Cannon-Grant and Grant, who ran Violence in Boston Inc., used some of the organization’s more than $50,000 in pandemic relief funds for personal expenses, including to pay their car loan and car insurance bills.

They also concealed thousands of dollars of household income in order to obtain $12,600 in rental assistance from the city’s Office of Housing Stability, the indictment alleges.

In addition, the pair is charged with defrauding the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance by submitting a forged employment document that allowed another family member to receive more than $40,000 in unemployment assistance. Cannon-Grant is also accused of filing false tax returns for 2017 and 2018 and failing to file tax returns for 2019 and 2020.

The couple will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.

Cannon-Grant and Grant pleaded not guilty last March to the original 18-count indictment charging them with using Violence in Boston Inc. funds to pay for personal expenses including hotels, car rentals, auto repairs, restaurant meals, nail salons and personal travel.

The nonprofit was founded in 2017 with $1,000, according to its website.

Cannon-Grant’s activism, including the organization of a rally in the city in 2020 to protest the killing of George Floyd and other Black people by police, has earned her numerous awards, such as The Boston Globe Magazine’s Bostonian of the Year award, and a Boston Celtics Heroes Among Us award.