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Hajia 4Reall sentenced to over a year in U.S. prison for romance scam

Influencer Mona Faiz Montrage, also known as Hajia 4Reall, from Ghana, was given a one-year and one-day prison sentence for her involvement in multiple romance scams and her money laundering activities.

Under the direction of U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken, the sentence was given in New York.

The well-known social media user Hajia 4Reall was detained in the UK on November 10, 2022, and extradited to the US on May 12, 2023.

Hajia4Reall

One of the counts against her was conspiracy to accept stolen property, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

On February 21, 2024, Montrage entered a guilty plea to these charges in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave.

Timeline of Legal Proceedings

November 10, 2022: Arrested in the United Kingdom.
May 12, 2023: Extradited to the United States.
February 21, 2024: Pled guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen money.
June 3, 2024: Initial sentencing date, postponed to June 28.
June 28, 2024: Sentenced to one year and one day in prison.
The Scam

Hajia 4Reall was involved in romance scams that targeted vulnerable senior citizens, promising them marriage and subsequently defrauding them of their money.

Over six years, 32 victims lost approximately $1.4 million. Hajia 4Reall laundered the proceeds through multiple bank accounts she opened in her name.

Courtroom Details

During the sentencing, the Assistant U.S. Attorney highlighted the severity of Montrage’s actions and the impact on the victims.

“The victims were vulnerable senior citizens. Some were promised marriage; they sent and lost money,” said the prosecutor. Montrage’s defence argued for a lighter sentence, citing her abusive relationship with a former boyfriend who was also involved in the scams.

Montrage expressed remorse in court, stating, “I want to pay them back. I feel shame as a mother of an eight-year-old daughter. Please have mercy on me,” before breaking into sobs.

Sentence and Consequences

Judge Oetken sentenced Montrage to one year and one day in prison, allowing her the possibility of “good time” credit, which can reduce her sentence by a few days. Additionally, Montrage agreed to pay $2,164,758.41 in forfeiture and restitution.

In light of her sentence, Montrage’s defense requested that she be allowed to return to Ghana immediately after her release to avoid detention by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The prosecution consented to this request.

Wider Impact

The case has garnered significant attention in Ghana, with many following the proceedings closely. The U.S. Attorney’s Office emphasized the need for a sentence that would serve as a general deterrence, given the media coverage and Montrage's influence in Ghana.

Montrage’s case underscores the severe consequences of participating in romance scams and highlights the ongoing efforts by law enforcement to prosecute such crimes.

The influencer’s sentencing aims to send a strong message about the importance of integrity and the legal repercussions of fraud.

Randy Osei Akoto

A content creator, writer, blogger and digital marketer currently the Editor and writer at 2Rvisionnews.com. Believes in hard work and keeps up with latest trending stories making rounds across the globe in all aspects, from politics, sports, entertainment, health, business etc.

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