Ghanaian musician and influencer Mona Faiz Montrage, popularly known as Hajia 4Reall, has pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, receipt of stolen money, and conspiracy to receive stolen money in connection with an alleged $2 million romance scam.
Appearing before a judge on Monday, Hajia 4Reall remains in custody until all bail conditions are met.
Prosecutors have stated that the charges carry maximum sentences of 20 years imprisonment for wire fraud and money laundering, 10 years for receipt of stolen money, and 5 years for conspiracy to receive stolen money.
Hajia 4Reall and her alleged criminal enterprise are accused of engaging in fraud, particularly romance scams, targeting older American individuals and businesses between 2013 and 2019.
The prosecution alleges that they used emails, text messages, and social media to deceive victims into believing they were in a romantic relationship and then exploited them for financial gain.
One incident involved Hajia 4Reall allegedly extorting around $89,000 from a victim through 82 wire transfers after providing a fake traditional marriage certificate.
Prosecutors have also accused her of defrauding individuals under false pretences.
As an influential musician in Ghana with over four million Instagram followers, her involvement in the scam has shocked and disappointed many in the country.
However, US prosecutors have emphasized that the charges against her are accusations, and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Hajia 4Reall is scheduled to appear in court again on June 28 for further proceedings.
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