DJ Envy’s Alleged Actual Property Ponzi Scheme Defined

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By Calvin S. Nelson

You don’t need Joe Budden to show you unsuitable …
Photograph: Denise Truscello/Getty Pictures for iHeartRadio

Put this on the following Rumor Report: Cesar Pina, a enterprise affiliate of “Breakfast Membership” co-host DJ Envy, was arrested on October 18 for his alleged position in a real-estate Ponzi scheme. Pina had flipped homes with DJ Envy in New Jersey and sometimes guested on the “Breakfast Membership” as Flipping NJ. Now, federal prosecutors declare Pina “defrauded dozens of individuals of thousands and thousands of {dollars},” charging him with one rely of wire fraud. The identical day Pina was charged, NBC 4 New York reported that the New York workplace of iHeartRadio, the place the “Breakfast Membership” information, was raided by federal officers, who took electronics. DJ Envy, born RaaShaun Casey, has but to face fees, however the federal criticism towards Pina does point out “a well known disc jockey and radio character” who isn’t too onerous to establish. So what’s happening right here?

Prosecutors declare that starting in 2017, Cesar Pina started taking investments to renovate and resell properties in New Jersey and elsewhere, promising a 20 to 45 p.c return on funding in 5 months. However Pina allegedly siphoned some investments for his private use and used new investments to pay again previous traders. Days earlier than Pina was charged, NBC 4 New York reported on a number of traders who hadn’t obtained promised funds from the challenge. Pina reportedly sought investments in properties he didn’t personal, scammed a number of traders into paying for a similar properties, and, in a single case, supplied to pay an investor again in jewellery. Pina and his spouse, Jennifer, at the moment are going through at the least 20 lawsuits.

Prosecutors declare Pina constructed credibility by holding real-estate seminars with DJ Envy earlier than he started the alleged flipping scheme. Envy usually promoted the challenge on the “Breakfast Membership,” claiming they’ve “helped so many individuals.” And lots of the spurned traders who spoke to NBC 4 stated they bought concerned with the challenge due to Envy’s co-sign — like Augie Rios, who’s completed auto wraps for a number of of Envy’s automobiles, and Anthony Martini, a producer who knew Envy. Billboard reported that Envy is a co-defendant in 9 of the lawsuits towards Pina.

After the NBC 4 investigation, Envy claimed on the “Breakfast Membership” that it’s “completely not true” that he was concerned within the Ponzi scheme. “Cesar, if he took cash, I wasn’t aware about it, nor did I even know,” he stated, prefacing that his “attorneys don’t need me to talk, however I believe there’s issues that I have to clear up a bit bit.” (“I believe you might want to take heed to your attorneys,” co-host Charlamagne tha God responded.) Envy moreover claimed that he additionally gave Pina cash that he didn’t get again.

Envy’s legal professional made the same assertion to NBC 4, saying Envy was “a sufferer” of Pina after investing $500,000 right into a flip in Paterson, New Jersey. That legal professional, Massimo D’Angelo, has been looking for to dismiss him from the lawsuits, writing in a current submitting that being named brought on “vital injury to Mr. Casey’s status and companies.” Envy can also be suing TonytheCloser, an Instagram influencer who posted prolifically in regards to the alleged Ponzi scheme earlier this 12 months, for defamation and different claims. After Pina’s arrest, D’Angelo as soon as once more denied Envy’s involvement, telling NBC 4, “Any reference to my consumer’s involvement within the purported scheme is solely for functions of sensationalizing the case due to his superstar standing.”

Since his arrest, Pina has been launched on a $1 million bond; he’s at present not allowed to go away New Jersey. If convicted on the wire-fraud cost, he might resist 20 years in jail and substantial fines. As for the cash, two of Pina’s firms have filed for chapter earlier this 12 months and his spouse has additionally unsuccessfully tried to take action. A decide has dominated to nominate a trustee in each chapter instances to settle money owed to traders. “This can quickly turn out to be the proverbial race to the courthouse to grab no matter property stay of the Pinas and their entities,” one legal professional, representing two victims, instructed Billboard. It’s unclear what’s going to come of the iHeartRadio workplace raid.

Really, somebody did: Joe Budden. On an episode of the Kitchen Speak podcast from October 2021, Envy says he known as Budden for recommendation when he bought into actual property, and the podcast host “instructed me it was a Ponzi scheme and I used to be going to jail.” Budden later recalled the dialog on his personal podcast, saying Envy’s proposed challenge “simply sounded fishy.”

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