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US Court Sentences Ghanaian Influencer Hajia 4 Real To One Year In Prison for Role in Romance Scams



Hajia 4 Real

Ghanaian Influencer Mona Faiz Montrage, widely known as Hajia 4reall, has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison by a US Court for her involvement in a series of romance scams and money laundering activities. The sentencing was delivered in New York by U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken.

Key Details of the Case:

  • November 10, 2022: Montrage was arrested in the United Kingdom.
  • May 12, 2023: She was extradited to the United States.
  • February 21, 2024: Pled guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen money before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave.
  • June 3, 2024: Initial sentencing date, postponed to June 28.
  • June 28, 2024: Sentenced to one year and one day in prison.

The Scam:

Montrage played a significant role in romance scams targeting vulnerable senior citizens. These scams, which promised marriage, defrauded 32 victims of approximately $1.4 million over six years. Montrage laundered the ill-gotten gains through multiple bank accounts in her name.

Courtroom Proceedings:

During the sentencing, the Assistant U.S. Attorney underscored the gravity of Montrage’s actions and the profound impact on the victims, many of whom were senior citizens. Montrage’s defense argued for leniency, highlighting her abusive relationship with a former boyfriend involved in the scams. Montrage expressed remorse, stating her intention to repay the victims and her deep shame as a mother of an eight-year-old daughter.

Sentence and Consequences:

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

Wider Impact:

The case has attracted significant attention in Ghana, with many closely following the proceedings. The U.S. Attorney’s Office emphasized the need for a sentence that would serve as a deterrent, given the media coverage and Montrage’s influence in Ghana. This case highlights the severe consequences of participating in romance scams and the ongoing efforts by law enforcement to prosecute such crimes.

Montrage’s sentencing aims to send a strong message about the importance of integrity and the legal repercussions of fraud. The high-profile case underscores the commitment of law enforcement to tackle romance scams and protect vulnerable individuals from such fraudulent schemes.

Source: GhanaFeed.Com

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