Local activist Monica Cannon-Grant and her husband, Clark Grant, founders of an anti-violence nonprofit Violence in Boston, were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury and charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy and making false statements to a mortgage lending business.

Prosecutors from U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins’ office allege in the indictment that Cannon-Grant, 41, the founder and CEO of Violence in Boston, and Grant, 38, a founding director, intentionally conspired to use the nonprofit “as a vehicle to solicit and receive charitable contributions from institutional and individual donors” that they then used for “a wide range of personal expenses and to enrich themselves while concealing such expenditures from VIB directors, officers and others.”

The 18-count indictment alleges that between 2017 and 2021, Cannon-Grant applied for numerous public and private grants and received donations to her nonprofit, but used that money for personal expenses, including hotel reservations, groceries, gas, car rentals, auto repairs, Uber rides, nail salons, restaurants, food deliveries and personal travel.

"We are extremely disappointed the government rushed to judgment here," Cannon-Grant's attorney Robert Goldstein said in a statement Tuesday. "VIB and Monica have been fully cooperating and their production of records remains ongoing. Drawing conclusions from an incomplete factual record does not represent the fair and fully informed process a citizen deserves from its government, especially someone like Monica who has worked tirelessly on behalf of her community. We remain fully confident Monica will be vindicated when a complete factual record emerges.”

Cannon-Grant was arrested Tuesday morning and later released on her own recognizance following a preliminary hearing before Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein. Federal prosecutors did not ask she be detained until her trial. Pre-trial conditions prohibit her from engaging in any employment or volunteer or unpaid positions that allow her access to monetary funds, disbursements of monetary funds, salary payments or any other financial responsibilities.

Adam Deitch, a federal prosecutor, expressed concern about Cannon-Grant having access to the nonprofit's funds, "given the pervasiveness and flagrancy of the defendants fraud here and how it relates to the finances of this nonprofit organization." Deitch and attorney Ben Connolly, who represented Cannon-Grant, plan to negotiate her role as the CEO of Violence in Boston.

"The sticking point there is that Ms. [Cannon-]Grant continues to run Violence in Boston," Connolly said during the hearing. "They pay monthly rent in Hyde Park. They run food pantries out of Hyde Park on Wednesdays and Fridays that serve 50 to 70 individuals. So we would ask that the court not impose that condition."

While allegedly providing herself with a $170,092 income from the organization's coffers in 2021, prosecutors allege that Cannon-Grant “falsely represented VIB as a nonprofit that did not pay salaries or other compensation” to either Cannon-Grant or Grant.

The couple was also charged with fraudulently collecting federal pandemic unemployment benefits, despite being employed full-time. Grant collected $67,950 in COVID-19 unemployment benefits from May 2020 to September 2021, according to prosecutors. Cannon-Grant's pre-trial conditions prohibit her from applying for unemployment benefits, loans or grants, unless approved by the court.

Charges also include allegedly defrauding a mortgage company when applying for a home loan last year. The couple is accused of submitting “false information and fraudulent documentation that represented VIB assets as personal assets and concealed the fraudulent nature of Grant’s" pandemic unemployment assistance income.

Cannon-Grant could face prison sentence of up to 20 years for each of the 13 counts of wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, five years for conspiracy and up to 30 years for the charge of making false statements to a mortgage lending business.

Though Cannon-Grant did not immediately respond to a request for comment from GBH News, she pushed back on social media after allegations of mortgage fraud surfaced in a 2021 criminal complaint against her husband. Earlier this month, Cannon-Grant claimed that her name does not appear on the loan documents and that he told the mortgage lender to remove the nonprofit’s bank account from the application.

“The bank information was pulled and immediately told it was unable to be used because it didn’t belong to [Grant],” she wrote on Twitter earlier this month. “This is only the tip of the iceberg. I’m not on the loan at all.”

Cannon-Grant wrote in the same thread that she was “fully cooperating” with a federal investigation of the nonprofit’s funds, dismissing the allegations as “we can’t explain her success so she has to be stealing.”

“A Black woman raised too much money for her non-profit and needed help organizing it all,” she wrote.

Cannon-Grant founded Violence in Boston in 2017 with the goals of reducing violence and raising social awareness and racial equity in Boston. After the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, Cannon-Grant rose to prominence as an activist and local organizer, gathering tens of thousands of people at a Black Lives Matter march through Franklin Park that June.

Cannon-Grant was interviewed by USA Today as one of their women of the year in 2022. Last year, the nonprofit founder was named one of the most powerful people in Boston by Boston magazineand a Bostonian of the Year in 2020 by The Boston Globe Magazine. Her efforts to feed 1,700 people daily throughout the pandemic via her Food for Soul initiative was highlighted in Boston.com in 2020.

As media accolades raised Cannon-Grant into prominence, controversy followed: years of online harassment, doxxing and death threats that Cannon-Grant said led her to move homes and only travel in groups of people she trusted.

“Someone asked me, why is this happening,” Cannon-Grant wrote earlier this month in a tweet with a screenshot of an email containing a racial epithet. “The answer is, I showed up [as] a Black woman without [a] college degree cursing and being my authentic self while taking care of my community and passing laws.”

In 2020, Cannon-Grant was criticized for cursing in a video that mocked the interracial relationship of Rayla Campbell, a Republican congressional candidate who is Black and had a white partner.

She has not shied away from controversy on social media or in her activism: last year Cannon-Grant demanded the resignation of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan for her handling of the case of Mikayla Miller, a young Black teen from Hopkinton whose death raised questions from family members. Cannon-Grant provided Violence in Boston resources to fund an independent autopsy for Miller, the results of which have never been publicly released.

Though Cannon-Grant helped connect Miller’s mother with legal help from nationally recognized trial attorney Ben Crump, known for representing Floyd's family in Minnesota, she maintained at the time that a GoFundMe campaign set up to cover associated costs of the investigation and legal process were directly connected to Miller’s mother, Calvina Strothers, and not processed through Violence in Boston accounts.

“When you see the news ‘Feds are investigating VIB,’ NO S***!” Cannon-Grant wrote in a tweet earlier this month, along with a screenshot of someone asking for her address in a Facebook message, along with a photo of one of her children. “All the white supremacy and anti-Blackness I’ve endured doesn’t surprise me. We’ve known and have been fully cooperating making sure they have everything they need so this can be over and my family can have peace.”

Cannon-Grant's arraignment on the charges will be scheduled for next week.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Read the full indictment below: