House-Flipper Linked to DJ Envy Charged in ‘Ponzi-Like’ Ponzi Scheme – Billboard
Cesar Pena, a popular houseman with close ties to New York City radio host DJ Envy, was arrested Wednesday (October 18) on federal charges of a “million-dollar Ponzi-like investment fraud scheme.”
The accusations come after months of social media accusations and civil lawsuits against Pena, who victims say stole their money with promises of big profits. DJ Envy (real name RaaShaun Casey) was caught in the scheme because critics say he helped promote Pina, including by appearing on his national hip-hop radio show. Breakfast Club – The accusations he denies.
In announcing the charges, federal authorities said Pena “exploited her celebrity status and social media to build a loyal following of potential victims.”
“Promising returns that were too good to be true, Pena allegedly defrauded dozens of people out of millions of dollars,” the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey said. Philip R. Selinger He said in a statement. “Our office is committed to protecting the public from these schemes and prosecuting those who lie to investors for their personal gain.”
DJ Envy was not named in the charges and has not been accused of any criminal wrongdoing. But federal prosecutors specifically noted that Pena “partnered with a popular DJ and radio personality” — listed in the charges as “Individual-1” — to enhance his reputation as a real estate guru.
“Together, they used Independent-l’s fame to promote various real estate enterprises controlled by Pena,” prosecutors wrote in the criminal complaint. “Pena demonstrated that he was a very successful real estate investor, owned thousands of properties in multiple states, and had business relationships with many celebrities.”
Lawyers for Pena and Envy did not respond to requests for comment.
The accusations against Pena first surfaced in May, when an Instagram account accused him of defrauding several investors — and accused Envy of playing a key role. This has led to a flood of civil lawsuits filed by dozens of victims who say Pena owes them thousands or millions of dollars. A lawyer for one of the victims estimated that more than 30 investors have already applied to get more than $40 million from Pena and his wife, Jennifer.
Many of those lawsuits, including one filed by a music industry veteran Anthony Martininamed DJ Envy as a co-defendant, citing their close relationships — including Pina’s frequent appearances on Breakfast Club and a series of real estate seminars co-hosted by the two men. One case says Envy “aided and abetted” the scammers by “using his public image as a well-known radio disc jockey to promote their real estate scheme.”
Envy says these types of claims are not only false — he says he himself is also a victim of Pena’s alleged scheme — but they are also defamatory. He is suing the social media influencer who first posted the allegations, claiming he “spread” the lies to promote his own real estate business, and is demanding that he be dismissed from the investor lawsuits.
In an interview with painting Last week, Envy’s lawyer, Massimo F. D’AngeloHe said his client had nothing to do with the specific deals involved in Pena’s alleged scheme, and was targeted by lawyers and pundits who were “sensationalizing” the issue by involving a celebrity: “Envy had no role at all. The only reason he did this is because he’s a character.” General”.
Read the full complaint against Pena here.