Romance frauds: Hajia4Real defrauded over 40 victims off $2million
Romance frauds: Hajia4Real defrauded over 40 victims off $2million

Romance frauds: Hajia4Real defrauded over 40 victims off $2million

Ghanaian influencer Mona Faiz Montrage, popularly known as Hajia4Real, has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison for her role in a series of romance frauds that defrauded over 40 victims, according to the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.


United States (US) District Judge J. Paul Oetken handed down the sentence on June 28, 2024, following Montrage's guilty plea on February 21, 2024, to conspiracy to receive stolen money. 

US Attorney Damian Williams highlighted the severity of Montrage's actions, stating, "Mona Faiz Montrage knowingly received illegal funds from older Americans who were victims of romance scams and now faces serious consequences for her actions."

The court revealed that from at least 2013 to 2019, Montrage was part of a West Africa-based criminal enterprise that targeted vulnerable, elderly individuals in the U.S. with romance scams. 

The scammers deceived their victims through emails, text messages, and social media, creating fake romantic relationships to gain trust and eventually coerce them into transferring money under false pretenses.

Montrage, known for her influential Instagram profile "Hajia4Reall" which once boasted approximately 3.4 million followers, received money from around 40 victims. 

The fraudulent schemes included fabricated stories about transporting gold, resolving fake FBI investigations, and assisting a fake U.S. Army officer in receiving funds from Afghanistan. The bank accounts Montrage controlled amassed over $2 million in fraudulent funds.

In addition to her prison term, Montrage, 32, of Accra, Ghana, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $216,475 and pay $1,387,458 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Williams praised the efforts of the FBI in bringing Montrage to justice, underscoring the commitment to pursue fraudsters who target Americans.

The case was prosecuted by the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit of the US Attorney’s Office, with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mitzi Steiner and Kevin Mead leading the prosecution.

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