Home / ENTERTAINMENT / Guilty plea doesn’t define me – Hajia4Reall ‘speaks’ ahead of sentencing in romance scam case

Guilty plea doesn’t define me – Hajia4Reall ‘speaks’ ahead of sentencing in romance scam case

Social media influencer cum musician Mona Faiz Montrage, popularly known as Hajia4Reall, has publicly reacted to her guilty plea for romance scams in a US court.

A statement shared on her Instagram page on February 21, 2024, explained that she voluntarily flew from Heathrow to JFK in May 2023 to face the criminal case in the Southern District of New York.

The statement written by her legal team asserted that her plea does not define her as a person and is not reflective of the individual she is today.

She expressed gratitude for the support of her fans, family, and legal representatives throughout the process.

“In May 2023, Ms. Montrage voluntarily boarded the flight from Heathrow to JFK to face the criminal case in the Southern District of New York.

“At that time, she took the first step to closing that chapter of her life. Today, she took responsibility for her bank accounts being used to receive funds from illicit conduct that ended in 2019. Ms. Montrage’s plea does not define her as a person and is not reflective of the individual she is today.

“Ms. Montrage is thankful for the support of her fans, family, and legal team throughout this process,” the statement said.

Hajia4Reall pleads guilty

The socialite pleaded guilty to receiving fraud proceeds from a romance scam, according to the United States Department of Justice (DoJ).

A DoJ statement dated February 21, 2024, read in part: “Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the guilty plea today of MONA FAIZ MONTRAGE for her role in laundering the proceeds of a series of romance scams.”

Montrage awaits sentencing

Montrage pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to receive stolen money; she faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison per US law.

She also agreed to pay forfeiture of $2,164,758.41 and make restitution in the same amount.

She is set to be sentenced by US District Judge Paul A. Crotty at a yet-to-be-determined date; it remains to be seen if she will be given the maximum five-year sentence.

What the Attorney for the Southern District of New York said:

Attorney Damian Williams said of the guilty plea: “Mona Faiz Montrage knowingly received money stolen from older Americans through romance scams and was arrested abroad, and now faces serious consequences for her actions.

“Romance scams such as Montrage’s harmed her vulnerable, elderly victims not only in the cruel betrayal of trust in the realization that their online romantic connection was fiction, but by also callously stealing their money.

“This office and our law enforcement partners are relentless in bringing fraudsters who target Americans to justice, no matter where they are,” he stressed.

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