Ghanaian musician and social media influencer, Mona Faiz Montrage, popularly known as Hajia4Real has been repatriated from the United Kingdom to the United States on allegations of swindling over $2 million.
Hajia4real is facing allegations of duping older, single American men and women in a disturbing lonely hearts scam, federal prosecutors announced on Monday, May 15, 2023.
According to the New York Post, ‘The Badder Than’ singer appeared in Manhattan federal court for trials on Monday.
During the court proceedings, she entered a plea of not guilty. It has been confirmed that she will be released in the upcoming days upon posting a $500,000 bond.
As part of her release conditions, she will be required to wear an ankle monitor with GPS tracking.
According to federal authorities, Montrage, who gained significant recognition through her widely popular Instagram page Hajia4Real with a peak following of approximately 3.4 million users, was involved in a network of fraudsters hailing from Ghana and Nigeria.
These individuals employed deceptive tactics, assuming false identities to create an illusion of romantic relationships with their victims through emails, text messages, and social media communications.
“As alleged, Mona Faiz Montrage was a member of a criminal conspiracy that specifically targeted older Americans through romance scams,” Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
“These scams can be both financially and emotionally devastating for vulnerable victims.”
He added, “Thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners, Montage was arrested abroad and has been brought to the United States to face justice.”
In court papers, a specific case highlighted details of how Hajia4Real allegedly deceived a victim into sending her a staggering $89,000 through 82 wire transfers under the pretence of providing financial aid for her father’s farm in Ghana.
The documents further assert that Hajia took the scheme to the next level by sending the victim a tribal marriage certificate, attempting to validate their fabricated marital status.
This elaborate ruse unfolded following a series of phone conversations during which the fashionista and serial entrepreneur used her actual identity.
Furthermore, prosecutors contend that Mother of one also received funds from several other victims who were deceived by the scams orchestrated by her network of fraudsters.
The total amount accumulated by Montrage is believed to be around $2 million, which was subsequently deposited into bank accounts held by her in various locations, including one under the guise of 4Reall Designs, a fictitious clothing company.
According to the indictment, the stolen funds were later laundered to other individuals involved in the criminal enterprise.
Recall that a news report broke about her arrest in the United Kingdom on November 10, 2022, and her initial sentencing, which was later debunked by her team.
Hajia4Real was later extradited to the United States on Friday to answer charges including wire fraud, money laundering, receipt of stolen money, and conspiracy.
If found guilty on the most severe charge, she could potentially face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
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