BLM activist accused of using donations to fund lifestyle seeks unemployment benefits

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A Black Lives Matters activist whose Boston non-profit was shut down after she allegedly spent thousands of charity donations to fund her fancy lifestyle has asked a court to allow her to apply for unemployment benefits.

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Monica Cannon-Grant, 41, who headed up Violence in Boston before it was shut down in July, wants government assistance.

She and husband Clark Grant, 38, allegedly spent thousands of the anti-violence charity’s funding on dinners, vacations and trips to the nail salon.

They were indicted in March for allegedly soliciting millions of dollars in donations, and were also accused of illegally collecting about $100,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits as well as lying on a mortgage application.

Conditions for Cannon-Grant’s release on personal recognizance included that she “not apply for, or facilitate the application for, any unemployment benefits unless approved by the court,” according to the 18-page indictment obtained by the Boston Herald.

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But Cannon-Grant’s attorney, Robert Goldstein, filed a motion asking to amend the original terms, simply stating that his client “is currently unemployed and would like to apply for unemployment benefits.”


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Cannon-Grant and Grant founded Violence in Boston in 2017 and the non-profit received significant attention following the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

The pair allegedly had exclusive control over the organization’s finances and did not disclose to others at the non-profit that they had used the funds for their own extravagances.

It is unknown if they used the nonprofit’s funds to purchase their home in 2021.

They were arrested in March and charged with two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of conspiracy, 13 counts of wire fraud, and one count of making false statements to a mortgage lending business, with an additional mail fraud charge against Cannon-Grant.

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Both pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“Unemployment caught my ass,” Cannon-Grant allegedly told her husband in a text message on March 26, 2021, according to prosecutors. “Asked me to provide documents by June [or else] I’ll have to pay it all back.”

Last year, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors stepped down as executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network after she was slammed for her multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio.

Earlier this year, Black Lives Matter defended using donated funds for its $5.8 million purchase of a luxury home in Southern California, as a place to encourage “Black creativity” in a space “for Black folks to share their gifts with the world and hone their crafts as we see it.”

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