Ghanaian Influencer Hajia4Reall Extradited from UK to US for Alleged Romance Scam Targeting Older Americans: In a shocking turn of events, popular Ghanaian social media influencer, Mona Faiz Montrage, widely known as Hajia4Reall, has been extradited from the United Kingdom to the United States.
The extradition comes as a result of her alleged involvement in a twisted romance scam, targeting older, single American men and women. Federal prosecutors have accused Montrage of swindling over $2 million from vulnerable individuals, and the news has sent shockwaves through social media platforms. Read on for a detailed account of the unfolding events surrounding this arrest.
The Deceptive Web of Romance Schemes
Montrage, who boasted an impressive following of 3.4 million on her Instagram page, Hajia4Reall, reportedly collaborated with a group of con artists from West Africa between 2013 and 2019.
Their modus operandi involved assuming fake identities to manipulate victims into believing they were engaged in genuine relationships. The scammers employed various communication channels, including emails, texts, and social media messages, to deceive their targets.
Exploiting Trust for Financial Gain
Once a connection was established, the fraudsters manipulated their victims into transferring money under false pretenses. Court documents reveal a range of fabricated scenarios, such as aiding in the transportation of gold to the US from overseas, resolving fictitious FBI investigations, and providing financial assistance to purported US Army officers stationed in Afghanistan.
Among the victims, one individual was tricked into sending $89,000 through 82 wire transfers, all supposedly directed towards helping Montrage’s father’s farm in Ghana, according to the prosecution.
A Web of Deception Unveiled
The intricate web of deceit extended further, as Montrage even went as far as sending a tribal marriage certificate to one victim, solidifying the belief that they were married.
She cleverly used her real identity during a series of phone conversations, further convincing the unsuspecting individual. Prosecutors have also uncovered evidence suggesting that Montrage received funds from multiple victims who had fallen prey to other scammers within her network.
In total, the illicit enterprise amassed $2 million, which was funneled into bank accounts held by Montrage in the Bronx and other locations, including one under the guise of 4Reall Designs, a fictitious clothing company.
From Arrest to Court Proceedings
Montrage’s criminal activities eventually caught up with her, leading to her arrest in the United Kingdom on November 10, 2022. The UK authorities collaborated with their American counterparts, resulting in her extradition to the US.
The influencer appeared before a Manhattan federal court, where she faced charges of wire fraud, money laundering, receipt of stolen money, and conspiracy. If convicted on the most severe charge, Montrage could face up to 20 years in prison.
Legal Proceedings and Future Confinement
During her court appearance, Montrage pleaded not guilty to all charges. Her lawyer, along with the prosecutor’s office, confirmed that she would be released on home detention to her aunt’s residence in New Jersey.
This would be subject to a $500,000 bond, and Montrage would be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor for tracking purposes. The legal battle surrounding this high-profile case is expected to unfold in the coming months, capturing significant attention from both mainstream and social media.