Hajia4Reall a Ghanaian social media influencer had been extradited from the United Kingdom to the United States in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud elderly, unmarried American men and women out of more than $2 million through a perverted version of the lonely hearts scam.
According to the allegations made by the prosecution, Mona Faiz Montrage, age 30, of Accra, Ghana, appeared in federal court in Manhattan on Monday. She is accused of being involved in a series of romantic scams that targeted elderly people who lived alone.
Hajia4Reall entered a not guilty plea to the allegations, and her attorney and the prosecutor’s office have both verified to The Post that she would be released on home detention to her aunt’s property in New Jersey in the coming days on a bond of $500,000 with GPS tracking via an ankle monitor. She will be subject to the terms of the bond.
Hajia4Reall extradited from UK to US
According to the federal government, Hajia4Reall, who at one point had approximately 3.4 million followers on her Instagram page Hajia4Real, was involved with a group of con artists from West Africa from at least 2013 until 2019 who assumed fake identities to trick people into thinking they were in relationships with them using emails, texts, and social media messages. The group of con artists used emails, texts, and social media messages.
In total, Hajia4Reall made $2 million from the money that the gang is accused of stealing from victims and depositing into bank accounts that she held in the Bronx and elsewhere. Among these accounts was one that was formed under the name of 4Real Designs, which was a claimed apparel firm.
According to the indictment, she reportedly laundered the money before giving it to other members of the organization.
Prosecutors assert that Hajia4Reall duped a person into believing that they were married and then convinced him to transfer her $89,000 by pretending to be their spouse.
“As alleged, Mona Faiz Montrage was a member of a criminal conspiracy that specifically targeted older Americans through romance scams,” Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, stated in a statement.
“Financially and emotionally, these scams can be devastating for victims who are already in a vulnerable position.”
“Thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners, Hajia4Reall was arrested abroad, and he has been brought back to the United States to face justice,” the statement read.
The social media influencer, whose Instagram account was in the top 10 most followed in Ghana, was taken into custody in the United Kingdom on November 10, 2022, for the alleged plot, and was transferred to the United States of America on Friday.
It has been alleged that Hajia4Reall engaged in wire fraud, received stolen property, laundered money, and participated in a conspiracy. If found guilty of the most serious offense, she might be sentenced to a maximum of twenty years in jail.
According to Adam Cortez, Hajia4Reall’s lawyer, in an interview with The Post, he stated, “At this time all we know is that there are six alleged victims and only two dealt with a woman, and only one of them claims that he dealt with Ms. Hajia4Reall.”
Cortez stated that he was unable to speak any further until the prosecution provided him with additional information and proof.
During the pendency of the lawsuit, the attorney stated that his client was restricted to only traveling in specified areas of New York and New Jersey.