A business associate of The Breakfast Club co-host DJ Envy has been arrested on federal fraud charges in an alleged Ponzi-like real estate scheme.
Cesar Humberto Pina, 45, was arrested Wednesday as prosecutors said he cheated investors in his New Jersey home-buying scheme out of millions with false promises of huge returns.
Pina, also known as “Flipping NJ,” often appeared on the popular morning radio show Breakfast Club, hosted by DJ Envy and Charlemagne Tha God, where he touted his investment plans.
DJ Envy, whose real name is RaaShaun Casey, has not been accused of wrongdoing, although a criminal complaint identifies him only as “Individual-1” and calls him Pina’s business partner, saying his fame was key to the alleged scheme.
As part of the investigation, federal agents raided the offices of iHeartMedia, the Breakfast Club syndicate, and seized electronic devices. WNBC TV.
Cesar Humberto Pina, 45, was arrested Wednesday as prosecutors said he bilked investors in his New Jersey house-flipping scheme of millions
Pina (right) regularly appeared on the popular morning radio show Breakfast Club, hosted by DJ Envy (left) and Charlemagne Tha God
DailyMail.com has contacted iHeartMedia for comment. DJ Envy appeared on The Breakfast Club as usual on Thursday morning, but the show did not address Pina’s arrest.
Prosecutors say that since 2017, Pina has solicited investments from small investors to renovate homes in New Jersey and elsewhere, promising returns of 20 to 45 percent in five months.
But instead of investing the money as promised, the complaint alleges that Pina siphoned off some of the money for personal use and used other victim funds to pay off previous investors in a “Ponzi-like” scheme.
“We allege that Pina offered investors ridiculously high returns and then invested the millions he received in himself,” said Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy of the FBI’s Newark field office.
“History has proven time and time again that Ponzi schemes don’t work. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow will eventually run out. Investors take note: it’s your money, don’t let them steal it,” he added.
In a criminal complaint reviewed by DailyMail.com, DJ Envy is not named, but he is clearly identifiable from the description given as the person named “Individual-1.”
“Pina and his business partner, a well-known disc jockey and radio personality (“Individual-1”), operated a company that hosted real estate seminars throughout the country,” according to the complaint written by Pankaj Sharma, a special agent in charge in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the district New Jersey.
“Together they used Individual-l’s fame to promote various real estate companies that Pina controlled,” Sharma added.
“During real estate seminars, private one-on-one sessions, advertisements, public appearances and otherwise, Pina demonstrated that he was a highly successful real estate investor, owning thousands of properties in multiple states and having business relationships with numerous celebrities. ‘
Pina, who also goes by the nickname “Flipping NJ,” often appeared on the iHeart-syndicated show The Breakfast Club, hosted by DJ Envy (right) and Charlemagne Tha God (left)
As part of the investigation, federal agents reportedly raided iHeartMedia’s offices and seized electronic devices
Pina traveled around the country holding seminars like the one above in Houston, soliciting investments in his alleged home flipping scheme in New Jersey
DJ Envy (above), whose real name is RaaShaun Casey, has not been accused of wrongdoing and says he was unaware of any fraud Pina may have committed
Pina and DJ Envy regularly collaborated for seminars on home flipping opportunities in New Jersey.
DJ Envy could not be reached for comment but previously denied any knowledge of the fraud, saying on his radio show: “The reason why I did these seminars is because I wanted to better my community.
“I wanted to teach my community about real estate, things I didn’t know when I bought my first house. “I wanted to teach our community about investing and about generational wealth,” he added.
“Now, Cesar? If he took money, I wasn’t aware of it and didn’t even know about it. But I understand how people would feel if they gave him money, because I gave him a lot of money and I didn’t get a single dollar back. But if anyone says I was involved, that’s absolutely not true.”
Prior to the indictment against Pina, numerous alleged victims spoke out in interviews that they had been defrauded of millions.
“He’s been advertising this all over the radio and television, so I thought this was legit,” Jose Santiago said WNBC Last week he said he thought Pina would help him achieve the American dream.
“We invested $200,000 and it looks like we’ll never get it back.”
“It’s plain and simple: the defendant executed a fraudulent scheme. They falsely represented the nature of their business and lied about potential investment returns to fleece unsuspecting victims out of millions,” said Tammy Tomlins, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS – Criminal Investigation Newark Field Office.
“Today’s arrest highlights the commitment of IRS Criminal Investigation and our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute unlawful conduct.”
Pina pleaded not guilty and was released on a $1 million secured bond with electronic monitoring.