BOSTON — The widespread federal fraud case against “Violence in Boston” founder Monica Cannon-Grant and her husband Clark Grant returned to federal court on Thursday in a 27-count superseding indictment charging additional schemes to defraud the City of Boston out of COVID-19 relief funds and rental assistance money.
Cannon-Grant and her husband were originally charged with 18-fraud related counts that hinged on three distinct conspiracy allegations. The first is the misuse of donations to the couple’s charity Violence in Boston (VIB) for personal use, the second is the misuse of public funds — including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program — and the third is alleged fraud related to the mortgage on the couple’s Taunton home.
“Specifically, from 2017 through at least 2020, it is alleged that Cannon-Grant and Grant exercised exclusive control over VIB financial accounts and diverted VIB money to themselves through cash withdrawals, cashed checks, debit purchases, and transfers to their personal bank accounts,” according to federal prosecutors..
The new wire fraud charges center on alleged schemes to obtain and utilize pandemic assistance funds from the Boston Resiliency Fund for purposes not disclosed to the City, including for their own personal benefit, as well as to fraudulently obtain rental assistance payments from Boston’s Office of Housing Stability.
That fund was set up to coordinate “the City’s fundraising efforts to support City of Boston residents most affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19),” according to its website, but is no longer accepting applications or donations.
The feds allege that the defendants received nearly $54,000 in pandemic relief funds into the charity’s bank account, they withdrew about $30,000 and kept much of it for themselves. They’re also alleged to have used VIB funds to pay their auto loan and auto insurance bills.
The pair now face a total of 27 fraud-related counts in a new indictment issued Thursday evening which include, three counts of wire fraud conspiracy; one count of conspiracy; one count of mail fraud, aiding and abetting; 16 counts of wire fraud, aiding and abetting; one count making false statements to a mortgage lending business, aiding and abetting; two counts filing false tax returns; two counts failure to file tax returns; and allegations of both wire and mail fraud forfeiture and mortgage fraud forfeiture.
The charges of wire fraud conspiracy each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The charge of conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
The charges of wire fraud each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The charge of making false statements to a mortgage lending business provides for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
The defendants will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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