Credible information reaching this portal has it that arrested Ghanaian socialite and musician Mona Faiz Montrage popularly known as Hajia 4real was arraigned before court today, May 16, 2023.
Hajia4real broke into tears when she was brought into the courtroom by US Marshals bound in chains.
She was in a yellow prison jumpsuit and appeared to have been crying.
Mona was offered home detention with her aunt in New Jersey in the US after the judges ordered her detention until $100,000 with two surety bail conditions were met.
The Ghanaian social media influencer was extradited from the United Kingdom to the US for allegedly swindling over $2 million from older, single American men and women in a twisted lonely hearts scam, federal prosecutors said Monday.
She pleaded not guilty to the charges and is set to be released in the coming days on $500,000 bond with GPS tracking via an ankle monitor, her lawyer confirmed.
In total, Montrage netted $2 million in funds the group ripped off from victims to bank accounts she had in the Bronx and elsewhere, including one opened in the name of 4Reall Designs, a supposed clothing company.
She then allegedly laundered the stolen money to other members of the enterprise, the indictment charges.
MONTRAGE, 30, of Accra, Ghana, 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. MONTRAGE is also charged with one count of receipt of stolen money, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to receive stolen money, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of MONTRAGE will be determined by a judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of the FBI. Mr. Williams also thanked the United States Marshals Services, the National Extradition Unit, United States Customs and Border Protection, and the FBI Legal Attaché in London for their assistance in the investigation. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs of the Department’s Criminal Division provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from the United Kingdom.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mitzi Steiner and Kevin Mead are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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