Home / Showbiz Articles / Hajia 4Reall Pleads Guilty to Receiving Fraud Proceeds from Romance Scam, Faces Up to 5 Years in Prison

Hajia 4Reall Pleads Guilty to Receiving Fraud Proceeds from Romance Scam, Faces Up to 5 Years in Prison

Mona Faiz Montage, widely known as Hajia 4Reall, has pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to launder the proceeds of a series of romance scams. The plea was made before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave.

According to the indictment and public court proceedings, Montage was involved in a criminal enterprise based in West Africa that defrauded individuals and businesses in the U.S., including conducting romance scams. The victims, often vulnerable older individuals living alone, were deceived into believing they were in romantic relationships with fake identities created by the enterprise. Once trust was established, victims were persuaded, under false pretenses, to transfer money to bank accounts controlled by the enterprise.

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Hajia 4Reall, a Ghanaian public figure, gained fame as an influencer through her Instagram profile, which at one point had around 3.4 million followers and was among the top 10 profiles in Ghana.

Montage received money from several victims of romance fraud orchestrated by the enterprise. Victims were tricked into sending money through various false pretenses, such as payments to transport gold to the U.S., resolve a fake FBI investigation, or assist a fake U.S. Army officer in receiving funds from Afghanistan.

In total, Montage controlled bank accounts that received over $2 million in fraudulent funds from the enterprise.

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Montage, 31, of Accra, Ghana, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to receive stolen money, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. She also agreed to pay forfeiture in the amount of $2,164,758.41 and make restitution in the same amount. Montage is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty.

The case was commended for the outstanding work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit, with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mitzi Steiner and Kevin Mead in charge of the prosecution.

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