Hajia4Real, a social media influencer from Ghana, was extradited from the United Kingdom to the United States on charges of defrauding over $2 million.
Federal authorities reported on May 15, 2023, that Hajia4real is accused of defrauding older, single American men and women in a distressing lonely hearts scam.
The ‘The Badder Than’ singer made an appearance in Manhattan federal court on Monday, according to the New York Post.
She pleaded not guilty during the judicial proceedings. She will be released in the coming days after posting a $500,000 bond, it has been announced.
She will be obliged to wear an ankle monitor with GPS monitoring as part of the terms of her release.
Federal investigators claim that Montrage was part of a network of con artists from Ghana and Nigeria. She rose to prominence through her enormously famous Instagram profile Hajia4Reall, which at its peak had 3.4 million followers.
In order to provide the impression that they had romantic relationships with their victims through emails, texts, and social media conversations, these people used misleading tactics and assumed fictitious identities.
“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, Montrage was arrested abroad and has been brought to the United States to face justice.”
According to court documents, in one particular instance, Hajia4Real allegedly tricked a victim into wiring her an astounding $89,000 over 82 wire transfers under the guise of providing financial support for her father’s farm in Ghana.
The documents further claim that in an effort to confirm the victim’s bogus marital status, Hajia went the scam a step further by mailing them a tribal marriage certificate.
Following a string of phone calls in which the fashionista and serial entrepreneur used her real name, this sophisticated ruse came to fruition.
Prosecutors also claim that Mother of One received monies from a number of additional victims who were duped by the scams conducted by her network of fraudsters.
Montrage amassed a total of roughly $2 million, which she later placed into bank accounts in several locations, including one under the name of 4Reall Designs, a fictional apparel firm.
The stolen cash, according to the indictment, was later laundered to other persons participating in the criminal operation.
Remember that on November 10, 2022, a news report came about her arrest in the United Kingdom and her initial sentencing, which was later disproved by her team.
On Friday, Hajia4Real was extradited to the United States to face charges including wire fraud, money laundering, receiving stolen money, and conspiracy.
If she is found guilty of the most serious accusation, she could face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
It is believed that Hajia 4Real acted as a middlewoman for a group of online scammers where she took her cut after every successful booty has been secured. It is also believed serval top Ghanaian celebrities are into the illicit business and might be exposed during the trial.