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Feds charge Boston man collected pandemic unemployment even as he was working fulltime; also charged with trying to use the bank account of his wife's non-profit to get a mortgage

A former Boston resident now living in Taunton was arrested today on charges he collected more than $67,000 in fake pandemic unemployment claims even as he was working at a full-time job where he got a promotion and at least two raises.

The feds also charge that Clark Grant lied on the mortgage application for his new Taunton house, falsely claiming that the bank account of a non-profit group founded by his wife was actually his.

Grant, 38, husband of local non-violence advocate Monica Cannon-Grant, was charged with wire fraud and making false statements on a loan and credit application, according to documents in US District Court in Boston, unsealed following his arrest.

According to an affidavit by a Department of Labor inspector on the case:

In total, GRANT wrongfully obtained approximately $67,950 in benefits designed for people who were unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic ... all while collecting his full salary as an employee of the Company.

The affidavit says Grant made his first pandemic unemployment application on May 19, 2020.

As submitted, the PUA claim asserted that GRANT’s employment was first affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on March 20, 2020 and certified the following: that GRANT was diagnosed with COVID-19 or was experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; that GRANT was providing care for a family or household member who was diagnosed with COVID-19; and that due to being self-employed, an independent contractor, or a gig worker COVID-19 severely limited his ability to perform his normal work.

On his initial application, GRANT certified that he had been able and available to work between March 29, 2020 and May 16, 2020 but that he had not earned more than $89 in any work week during that period.

In fact, Grant was not self-employed, the affidavit says: He was working full time for the same unnamed company he had worked for since 2018:

Records obtained from the Company indicate that GRANT worked in "Position 1" until in or around July 2021, at which time he was promoted to "Position 2." At several points during his employment at the Company, GRANT received pay raises, including in or around August 2020 and in or around July 2021. Employment records indicate that, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, GRANT was employed by and working full-time for the Company.

He earned nearly $61,000 from the company in 2020, according to this tax records, the affidavit states. An arrest warrant issued for Grant lists his employer as commuter-rail operator Keolis.

The affidavit continues that after the state required pandemic-unemployment recipients to verify their status as unemployed in early 2021, Grant uploaded a two-page "independent contractor agreement" with a supposed contractor who was willing to hire him for "facilities management" work. In fact, the alleged company's Dorchester address doesn't exist, the affidavit states. In response to a demand by the state for more details on this supposed agreement, the affidavit states, Grant submitted a four-page document last month signed by somebody the FBI has been unable to find:

A query of both public and law enforcement databases failed to locate anyone in the United States with the Representative’s name.

The affidavit continues that while all this was going on, Grant was applying for a mortgage on a house in Taunton. He had an initial problem, though: His own bank account only had $1,000 in it, not enough to convince a Chicago mortgage company he was a good enough risk for the roughly $410,000 house in Taunton.

To augment his financial assets, GRANT falsely listed as a personal asset a bank account on the mortgage application that was not a personal asset. Specifically, GRANT listed a Bank of America account ending with the numbers -0512 that, according to his application, contained $461,548.73. This account, however, did not belong and has never belonged to GRANT.

According to records obtained from Bank of America, the account ending with the numbers -0512 was registered in the name of a non-profit organization whose stated purpose was to reduce violence and provide community aid to disenfranchised communities (the "Non- Profit") and that had been founded by an associate of GRANT. GRANT served as an officer of the Non-Profit with the title of Director from 2017 to the present, according to Massachusetts Secretary of State records. Based on my training and experience, I believe that, as a Director of the Non-Profit, GRANT was aware that he could not claim the Non-Profit's funds as his personal assets.

The affidavit adds:

The Mortgage Co., as part of its diligence process, obtained bank records for GRANT and the Non-Profit, as well as Massachusetts Secretary of State filings demonstrating that the Non-Profit was formed as a charity-based organization. After the Mortgage Co. obtained this information, records show that GRANT revised his loan application in July 2021 to omit the Non-Profit account from the application.

The mortgage company then noticed he was claiming both full-time employment and pandemic unemployment payments; the affidavit says Grant told the company that he had gotten the unemployment due to "cleaning contracts" canceled due to Covid-19 and that when the company persisted, he forwarded one of the same bogus "independent contractor" documents he filed with the state. Satisfied, the lender gave him and his wife a mortgage for the Taunton home in July.

Both charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1-million fine, although few people get the maximum penalties without lengthy records.

Innocent, etc.

Complete Department of Labor affidavit (1.1M PDF).

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Comments

People really think that fraud like this won't eventually catch up with them.
What a dumbass.

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Voting closed 59

I thought his wife would be the first one arrested for something shady.

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I'm thinking of a word that starts with "a" and ends in "hole"

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Hammer.. They are both notorious around these parts..

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His wife runs the charity. How did he have access to the charity’s banking records? He is not the treasurer.

He used the ill gotten funds to buy a house. His wife was totally unaware of that transaction and how it was financed? There’s a lot of questions here. I doubt this is the end of the inquiry.

This scheme is particularly disgusting. People are dying, others are out of work, many will never financially recover from this pandemic. And he takes the opportunity to steal from the rest of us even though he was one of the fortunate ones who didn’t lose their livelihood. This was an immoral, depraved act.

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Voting closed 58

His wife runs the charity. How did he have access to the charity’s banking records? He is not the treasurer.

He is a director of the organization.

I'm assuming Monica Conman-Grift signed off on the mortgage application with the charity assets listed.

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Voting closed 46

If they could have charged her they would have. The Mass DoJ put out 3 press releases that day. The other 2 cases were about crimes that netted over a million. But this story is all over the news. I know that she has helped many people, and has been subject to many false attacks. I am not pretending this crime isn't real, its awful and I am sorry to see it.

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This is disappointing and complicated. They're great people.

Their business helps a ton of people, often people who the "mainstream" organizations can't help because they have strict requirements. We need more grassroots organizations like hers.

The "fraudulent applications" thing is complicated too. I'm obviously not saying "hey go commit fraud," but

1) there does seem to be selective enforcement and

2) I do get how this happens, when you have people who've been redlined and have only had about 5 generations to accrue wealth, thus having an average net worth of $8 compared to $250,000 for white folks. People also get involved with lenders and financial advisers who will tell people they can put their business' assets down and can use any family members' information who says it's OK. When people get burned and try to get recourse, they find there were several layers of people and the ones telling them how to fill things out weren't licensed lenders or accountants, so the actual licensed person at the top is in the clear (people just brought them the clients and definitely never advised anyone what to put down!) and the person trying to get a home or save their business is screwed. I have no idea what specifically happened here, but have seen these things happen repeatedly in the community, and it's really unfortunate. Remember too we live in a society that's literally set up so that people in the higher classes who commit wage theft, many types of tax fraud, accept fraudulent lending applications, etc. usually just have to fix the "error" or have to do nothing, while the lower-rung folks are criminalized.

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Turtle Boy has done many inflammatory videos that don't actually accuse her of anything but being part of Black Lives Matter, and getting support from locally famous people. The DOJ affidavit lays out criminal fraud. They also seem to be arresting people and putting out press releases about similar crimes on a daily basis. DOJ didn't put Monica Cannon's name in this. I am not saying that this article is unfair, either. She is a public person.
for instance Live boston 617 covered these "raids"
2/12/21 drugs
5/27/21 cocaine ring
7/9/21 gang unit
7/30/21 fugitive
10/19/21 fraud
Which one of these does not sound like the others?

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Voting closed 9

We can agree to disagree on the fraudulent mortgage application, but it seems pretty obvious that filing for pandemic unemployment assistance while still holding down a full-time job is a big no-no. It's really not that hard for an audit to catch it, either -- since at some point the state or Feds reconcile the reports of who got unemployment assistance at what times with payroll tax records -- and that's all tied together with your SSN.

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I've observed plenty of employers lay people off and coach them to file for unemployment even though they have second and third jobs as people in our community tend to. It's a pretty common (erroneous) belief that the "I am not working" certification refers to the job you were let go from.

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MCG doesn't have to worry about "white penises jeopardiz[ing] her melanin."

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So in the last few days, Wu has denied ever calling for defunding and MCG’s husband has been caught in multiple fraud schemes.

Amazing to see our progressive heroes in action!

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Voting closed 63

Sounds like selective enforcement.

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And collecting unemployment, you are asking to be selected for prosecution.
What reason do you think they selected him?

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Aren't there dozens if not hundreds of fraudulent non-profits like these? Why did they choose only this one? It looks like only because Guaranteed Rate reported it. Why do we rely on mortgage companies to police non-profits? What about those whose officers don't get mortgages?

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He tried to use the assets of a non profit to get a loan and collected unemployment while employed, maybe the hundreds of other non profits aren't being used illegally?
Do you think they are picking on him?
It sounds like an open and shut case, something prosecutors love.

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Shit.

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He earned 70 thousand per year on top of the 68 thousand in unemployment benefits, and he got a public defender. Isnt that nice?

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