Violence in Boston, the charity at the center of a federal fraud case against its president and treasurer, Monica Cannon-Grant, and her husband has shut down.
“I regret to inform you that Violence in Boston Inc will be suspending all programs and shutting down, effective immediately,” Cannon-Grant wrote on her public Facebook page. “I can’t speak on whether the decision to desolve (sic) the organization was an easy one to make, as this decision was made by the Violence in Boston board of directors.
“What I can say with confidence is that I fought, and community members fought to retain our services at Violence in Boston, which included our food pantry and emergency and short-term housing for victims of violence,” the post continued. “I have served this community with my whole heart and I deeply regret the loss of a community resource during a time when people are still struggling.”
ViB’s website has also been replaced with a shorter version of the message and a link to the Secretary of State website’s entry on the entity listing its board of directors. It also includes links to local “Resources for folks experiencing community violence,” including resources for “queer survivors of partner abuse,” community fridges in the greater Boston area and food pantries in the city.
A Twitter account called “Fight for Monica,” which posts content in defense of Cannon-Grant, posted on Thursday that the ViB board had “terminated Monica’s employment via email, effective July 1st.” The Herald has reached out to listed directors for independent confirmation but had not received a response.
The post adds that Cannon-Grant “is a mom of six and was given zero days notice that she would lose all of her income.” A post just before that one states the board put Cannon-Grant on leave in April “and planned to dissolve the organization without her knowledge.
Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment against Cannon-Grant and her husband, Clark Grant, on March 15, and she was arrested that same day. The indictment alleges that the couple “agreed to use VIB as a vehicle to personally enrich themselves and their designees,” including buying personal meals, making car payments and even going to the nail salon.
Cannon-Grant was released that same day and has not kept a low-profile online despite the federal charges she faces.
“Stop calling yourselves Activist and Organizers. To be either you have to be willing to lose something. It is not a weekend sometime job,” she posted on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon, allegedly four days after being fired from ViB. “In order to be EFFECTIVE you have to be willing to be hated, mocked, lose your employment, lose ‘friends’ and stand alone understanding respectability won’t save you.”
Prosecutors confirmed they’re seeking a fresh indictment in the case, which could change or add charges or defendants, during an in-person court appearance on June 10. The couple were originally indicted in March with 18 fraud-related counts. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Their trial is scheduled for March.
Screenshot of ViolenceInBoston.orgThe Violence in Boston homepage as seen early Friday afternoon, which announces the charity has ceased operations. (Screenshot of ViolenceInBoston.org)