– Cesar Pina has been charged with one count of wire fraud for running a pyramid scheme targeting real estate investors.
– Pina allegedly took millions of dollars in investments for flipping houses that he did not own.
– He exploited his social media following and partnered with a popular radio DJ to attract more investors.
– Pina promised high returns on investment but used the funds for personal purchases and to pay off previous victims.
– He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
– The radio DJ, DJ Envy, claims to be a victim of Pina’s scheme and denies any involvement.
Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday that Cesar Pina had been charged with one count of wire fraud for running a pyramid scheme targeting real estate investors.
Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday that Cesar Pina had been charged with one count of wire fraud for running a Ponzi-like scheme that involved him taking millions of dollars in investments to supposedly invest in flipping houses that he did not actually own.
“As alleged in the complaint, Pina exploited celebrity status and social media to develop a devoted following of potential victims,” U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said in a statement. “Promising returns that were too good to be true, Pina allegedly defrauded dozens of people of millions of dollars.”
Pina frequently partnered with DJ Envy, a co-host of the massively popular syndicated radio show “The Breakfast Club,” to give seminars on real estate investment. Envy also frequently used his airtime to promote Pina’s allegedly fraudulent home-flipping venture.
“We’ve helped so many people, not just regular people, but celebrities, athletes, executives,” the DJ, RaaShaun Casey, has said on the morning radio show.
Through his association with Envy, Pina garnered a large social media following and leveraged it to attract more investors.
According to evidence presented in court documents, Pina often promised 20 percent to 45 percent returns on investment within five months. But instead of using investors’ money to purchase and rehab homes, he allegedly used his victims’ investments to pay off prior victims and spent their funds on personal purchases.
Pina faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. He was released on a $1 million bond after appearing in federal court in Newark this week.
Envy has insisted he is himself a victim of Pina.
“[Envy] is a victim, just like the other alleged victims are in connection with the scam,” Massimo D’Angelo, Envy’s attorney, told NBC.
Speaking on his radio show this week against the advice of his attorneys, Envy echoed that line and insisted he never saw a dime from Pina’s scheme.
“I gave him a lot of money, that I didn’t see a dollar of returned,” Envy said. “But for any to say I was involved — that’s totally not true, I would never.”
Property Chomp's Take:
Federal prosecutors have charged Cesar Pina, a social media influencer and business partner of popular New Jersey radio DJ DJ Envy, with running a pyramid scheme that targeted real estate investors. Pina has been charged with one count of wire fraud for his alleged involvement in the fraudulent real estate venture.
According to federal prosecutors, Pina used his celebrity status and social media following to attract potential victims. He promised high returns on investment within a short period of time, ranging from 20 percent to 45 percent in just five months. However, instead of using investors' money to purchase and renovate properties, Pina allegedly used the funds to pay off previous investors and for personal expenses.
Pina frequently partnered with DJ Envy, who promoted Pina's fraudulent home-flipping venture on his popular radio show, "The Breakfast Club." Envy also co-hosted seminars on real estate investment with Pina. Envy has since claimed that he is a victim himself and had no knowledge of Pina's scheme.
The charges against Pina highlight the risks associated with investing in real estate and the importance of conducting thorough due diligence before entrusting funds to any investment opportunity. It serves as a reminder that individuals should be cautious when presented with investment opportunities that promise exceptionally high returns in a short period of time.
Pina faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted. He was released on a $1 million bond after appearing in federal court in Newark.
This case also raises questions about the responsibility of influencers and celebrities when endorsing or promoting investment opportunities. While DJ Envy claims to be a victim himself, his association with Pina and promotion of the allegedly fraudulent venture may have contributed to its success and the victimization of others. It emphasizes the need for influencers and celebrities to thoroughly vet the opportunities they endorse and ensure they are legitimate and compliant with the law.
In conclusion, the case against Cesar Pina highlights the dangers of pyramid schemes and the importance of conducting due diligence before investing in real estate or any other venture. It serves as a reminder that high returns with minimal risk are often too good to be true. Investors should always exercise caution and seek advice from professionals before committing funds to any investment opportunity.