Ghanaian Influencer Extradited to U.S. & Charged In $2M Romance Scheme

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the unsealing of a six-count Indictment charging Mona Faiz Montrage for her role in a series of romance schemes and for laundering the proceeds of those schemes.

Montrage was arrested in the United Kingdom on November 10, 2022, deported from the United Kingdom on May 12, 2023, and presented before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty, to whom the case was assigned.


Mona Faiz Montrage – Instagram @hajia4reall

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U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Mona Faiz Montrage was a member of a criminal conspiracy that specifically targeted older Americans through romance scams. 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.”

Mona Faiz Montrage – Instagram @hajia4reall
Mona Faiz Montrage – Instagram @hajia4reall


FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll said: “We alleged today that Ms. Montrage participated in multiple romance scams – often targeting elderly victims – resulting in more than $2 million in fraudulent funds under her control. Romance scams – especially those that target older individuals – are of major concern. The FBI will be tireless in our efforts to hold fraudsters accountable in the criminal justice system.”

From at least or about 2013 through in or about 2019, Montrage was a member of a criminal enterprise (the “Enterprise”) based in West Africa that committed a series of frauds against individuals and businesses in the United States, including romance scams.

Many romance scam victims were vulnerable, older men and women who lived alone. The Enterprise frequently conducted romance scams by sending the victims emails, text messages, and social media messages that deceived them into believing that they were in romantic relationships with a person who had a fake identity assumed by members of the Enterprise.

Once members of the Enterprise had successfully convinced victims that they were in a romantic relationship and had gained their trust, they convinced the victims, under false pretenses, to transfer money to bank accounts the victims believed were controlled by their romantic interests when, in fact, the bank accounts were controlled by members of the Enterprise.

Montrage is a Ghanaian public figure who rose to fame as an influencer through her Instagram profile under the username “Hajia4Reall,” which at one point had approximately 3.4 million Instagram followers and was among the top 10 profiles with the most followers in Ghana.

Montrage received money from several victims of romance frauds whom members of the Enterprise tricked into sending money.

Mona Faiz Montrage – Instagram @hajia4reall
Mona Faiz Montrage – Instagram @hajia4reall


Among the pretenses used to induce victims to send money to Montrage were payments for transporting gold to the United States from overseas, payments to resolve a fake FBI unemployment investigation, and payments to assist a fake United States army officer in receiving funds from Afghanistan.

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Montrage controlled bank accounts that received over $2 million in fraudulent funds from the Enterprise.

She is charged with wire fraud, money laundering, receipt of stolen money, and conspiracy and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the top charge.

Montrage pleaded not guilty during her court appearance and was set to be released on home detention to her aunt’s New Jersey residence in the coming days on $500,000 bond, with GPS tracking via an ankle monitor, her lawyer and the prosecutor’s office confirmed.

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