"DJ Envy was never in the room with me,” says Cesar Pina, who was arrested on federal charges that he committed a "Ponzi-like" investment fraud scheme
DJ Envy has come under scrutiny for his connection to accused real estate fraudster Cesar Pina — but now Pina is speaking out, claiming Envy “has nothing to do with” the scheme amid several lawsuits.
"In all these lawsuits, these 20 lawsuits, DJ Envy was never in the room with me,” Pina said in an Instagram Live video posted this week and reshared on YouTube by Tony the Closer. “DJ Envy has nothing to do with any of these 20 lawsuits of these people who are suing me."
Pina, a New Jersey real estate investor who frequently appeared on DJ Envy's iHeartRadio show, The Breakfast Club, was arrested Oct. 18 on federal charges that he committed a multimillion-dollar "Ponzi-like" investment fraud scheme.
Pina was charged with one count of wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced in a press release. After appearing in Newark federal court, Pina was released on a $1 million bond with electronic monitoring.
While DJ Envy (whose real name is RaaShaun Casey) isn’t named in the charges, court documents state: “Pina partnered with a celebrity disc jockey and radio personality to conduct real estate seminars around the country. Through these seminars, self-promotional efforts, and other marketing strategies, Pina developed a significant social media following.”
DJ Envy’s attorney, Massimo D'Angelo, told PEOPLE that the radio host had no involvement in the alleged scheme, and that he’s filed motions to dismiss two lawsuits that named Envy.
“Envy is a victim, and sits in the same place as the other alleged victims are in these schemes,” he says.
According to D'Angelo, Pina presented an investment opportunity to Envy around late 2019 that involved renovating a vacant school property in Paterson, N.J. and creating an apartment building.
Pina was to manage all aspects of the construction of one and two-bedroom apartments, which would be leased at market rent, D'Angelo says. In exchange for Envy's $500,000 investment, D’Angelo claims that Pina promised that he would return Envy's investment within a year and that he would receive a monthly dividend of approximately $17,000.
According to the filing, the scheme — in which Pina accepted investments allegedly to purchase, remodel and sell real estate properties — began in 2017.
“To induce his victims, Pina often promised 20 to 45 percent returns on investment within five months,” the complaint says. “But instead of using victims’ investments as promised, Pina engaged in a Ponzi-like scheme by commingling victim money, using new victim investments to pay off prior victims, and spending victim funds on personal expenditures. The investigation has revealed that Pina defrauded dozens of investors of millions of dollars.”
On Oct. 11, DJ Envy responded to allegations about his involvement, in a video posted on his and The Breakfast Club’s Instagram accounts.
"Let me explain some things," he told co-host Charlamagne tha God. "My attorneys don't want me to speak but I think there's things that I need to clear up a little bit.”
"Cesar and myself did seminars,” he said. “Now the reasons why I did these seminars is because I wanted to uplift my community. I wanted to teach my community about real estate, things that I didn't know when I was first buying my first home. I wanted to teach our community about investing and generational wealth."
"So I did these seminars and brought industry professionals to all these seminars," he continued. "That's what I wanted to do for my people. Now, Cesar? If he took money, I wasn't privy to it, nor did I even know. But, I do understand how people feel if they did give him money, because I gave him a lot of money that I didn't see a dollar of returned. But for anybody to say I was involved, that is totally not true."
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