Haija 4real is likely to face up to 20 years in prison if convicted for allegedly defrauding elderly, single American men and women out of over GH20 million
in a depraved lonely hearts scam, Haija 4real whose real name Mona Faiz Montrage, 30, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud, one count of money laundering conspiracy, and one count of money laundering, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, Pulse Ghana has reported.
According to the prosecution, Hajia 4 Reall’s romance scam targeted elderly and single Americans who were living alone.In reports seen by pulse.com.gh, ‘she entered a not-guilty plea to the allegations, and according to her attorney, she will be released in the upcoming days on a $500,000 bail with GPS monitoring via an ankle monitor’.
According to the prosecutors, from at least 2013 through 2019, Hajia 4Reall was involved with a group of con artists from West Africa who assumed fake identities to trick people into thinking they were in relationships with them using emails, texts and social media messages.
The feds add that “the scammers would then get the victims to transfer money to them under false pretences — such as to help move gold to the US from overseas, to resolve bogus FBI investigations and payments to help fake US Army officers in Afghanistan, court papers allege.
Montrage, in one case, allegedly duped a victim into sending her $89,000 through 82 wire transfers on the pretext of helping her father’s farm in Ghana, the court documents claim, she tricked the person into believing the pair were married by sending them a tribal marriage certificate after a series of phone conversations using her real identity, the filing alleges”.“
“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.”“Thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners, Montrage was arrested abroad and has been brought to the United States to face justice,” the statement continued.
Hajia 4Reall was arrested on Nov. 10, 2022, in the UK for the alleged conspiracy and brought to the US on Friday. She is now being charged with wire fraud, money laundering, receipt of stolen money and conspiracy. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the top charge.
Montrage’s lawyer Adam Cortez told The Post: “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. Montrage.”