Monica Cannon-Grant Asks Court To Allow Her To Apply For Unemployment While Facing Unemployment Fraud Charges


It’s been over a month since Monica Cannon-Grant was fired by the new board of directors at her now defunct nonprofit Violence In Boston Inc. The former Boston Globe “Bostonian of the Year,” Ayanna Pressley campaign organizer, and self-proclaimed civil rights icon is currently facing 18 fraud related charges in federal court, with an upcoming trial date in March. Several of those charges stem from unemployment fraud, after both Monica and her husband Clark fraudulently applied for and received over a year’s worth of unemployment assistance while collecting a $170K salary from her nonprofit. She has refused any plea offers from the government and has chosen to take it to trial, which is costly. So how does she plan to pay her attorney? In the most ironic way possible:

Yes, that’s right. The woman facing federal charges for 6 digit unemployment fraud wants to keep collecting unemployment so she can pay her lawyer to fight a case she can’t win. From the Herald:

Monica Cannon-Grant, whose charity Violence in Boston shut down last month as a federal fraud case against her and her husband plays out in court, now wants to apply for unemployment assistance. Conditions of her release were set at her first court appearance in March after the 18-count federal indictment against her and her husband, Clark Grant, was unsealed. Those conditions include that she “not apply for, or facilitate the application for, any unemployment benefits unless approved by the Court.” On Wednesday, her attorney filed a motion to change that. “Ms. Cannon-Grant is currently unemployed and would like to apply for unemployment benefits,” her retained attorney, Robert Goldstein, wrote in a filing. On the same day, Cannon-Grant wrote a Facebook post calling for “Hump Day Help!” donations at to fund her legal defense: “We continue to raise legal fees for my Freedom because it’s not Free.” The filing states that Goldstein had conferred with the federal prosecutors and they had no objections: “The government does not object to the defendant’s application for unemployment benefits so long as any such application is done in accordance with the law.”

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This doesn’t mean that she’s actually going to receive unemployment, just that she is asking the court to allow her to apply for it. A few things would seem to disqualify Monica if the judge did allow her to apply, according to the law:

  • One must be “unemployed, or working significantly reduced hours, through no fault of your own.” Monica is not unemployed “through no fault of her own.” She’s unemployed because she was indicted, arrested, charged, and continued to post incendiary things on Facebook that damaged the nonprofit in spite of that.
  • You have to prove that you are actively looking for work, and every week you must list 3 work search attempts. For most people the government takes your word for it, but in Monica’s case I would hope the court would thoroughly scrutinize her weekly application if she was allowed to apply.
  • You are not eligible to collect unemployment if your only source of employment was from working at a nonprofit.

  • You are ineligible to receive unemployment if you were fired from your previous job. (Monica was fired by the VIB board of directors.)

  • You can only collect unemployment for 30 weeks. Monica collected for over a year previously, while also paying herself a salary from VIB.
  • You are unable to receive unemployment if you receive other income. According to Monica’s own Facebook posts she has raised over $30K in the last few months.

Her husband Clark is also raising money under the guise of reparations.

Raising money is income.

She’s also been able to go to therapy, which she credits with preventing her from committing murder.

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She ironically posted that the only reason she wanted to be an adult was to have sex and curse (both of which she excelled at), not to pay bills or go to work.

Also, I just found out she has another Facebook profile, and apparently Somerville High School paid her to do racial justice consulting by appearing on a panel in front of high school students.

The judge may not allow her to apply for unemployment, but the fact that the prosecution is not fighting this tells me that they want her to try. There is no way she can receive unemployment assistance without lying. By her own admittance she has raised $30K in income, was fired from her job with cause, worked at a nonprofit, and likely is not applying for jobs. She has learned nothing from this and truly believes she is entitled to taxpayer money. Let’s hope that if she is allowed to apply for more assistance that her arrogance inspires her to lie on her application, which could result in more charges.