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Social Media Influencer Accused Of Bilking Americans In Romance Plot

A woman who federal prosecutors say rose to fame as a social media influencer has been extradited to the U.S. to face charges she bilked Americans out of more than $2 million in an international romance scheme, USA Today reports. “We alleged today that Mona Faiz Montrage participated in multiple romance scams – often targeting elderly victims – resulting in more than $2 million in fraudulent funds under her control," said FBI official Michael Driscoll. Montrage, 30, is a Ghanaian social media influencer whose “Hajia4Reall" profile is among the most followed in her native Ghana, according to a federal indictment. She was arrested and extradited from the United Kingdom. Montrage is charged in the U.S. indictment 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.


"From at least in or about 2013 through in or about 2019, Montrage was a member of a criminal enterprise based in West Africa that committed a series of frauds against individuals and businesses in the United States, including romance scams," prosecutors said Monday. Members of the enterprise would convince victims to transfer money to bank accounts controlled by the scammers once members convinced victims they were in a romantic relationship, prosecutors said. Montrage was set to be released on $500,000 bond. The Federal Trade Commission has identified phony romance plots as a serious form of online fraud, costing more than $1.3 billion in some years.

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