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.
Complete Department of Labor affidavit (1.1M PDF).