The accused business partner of radio host DJ Envy has made his first public comments since being charged by federal agents with running a multi-million dollar Ponzi-style scheme.
Cesar Pina had been released on a $1 million bond with electronic monitoring after pleading not guilty to federal charges related to bilking investors in a real estate venture out of millions of dollars. On Wednesday, he took to YouTube for a few minutes to talk about DJ Envy — a move that has sparked more controversy.
“They call me Caesar Madoff, which is crazy,” Pina said.
The lengthy social media post frequently criticized investors who claimed he had defrauded them. Pina, who promoted seminars and real estate prowess at the Breakfast Club hosted by business partner DJ Envy, is accused of a widespread real estate scheme aimed at flipping distressed properties in New Jersey, most of them in Paterson.
After the I-Team interviewed several investors, Envy went on air to deny any involvement.
Envy’s attorney previously told NBC New York that his client was also a victim by investing $500,000 in the Paterson project with Pina.
“He is like any other victim of alleged fraud,” said lawyer Massimo D’Angelo.
But Pina vehemently denied that Envy was any victim, saying the two were only “partners” in a few real estate ventures.
“His defense, DJ Envy is a victim, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Me and him were partners in real estate seminars, we were partners in several real estate transactions. That’s it, he’s not a victim,” Envy said in an online video.
The radio personality’s longtime business partner has been arrested by federal agents in New Jersey. News 4’s Sarah Wallace reports
D’Angelo said the comments support Envy’s claim of innocence, saying, “In his mea culpa video clip, Cesar Pina admits to taking money from investors with no refund and profusely apologizes to those investors, including DJ Envy… Cesar Pina, surely he falls on his own sword.’
Pina also tried to make up for some of his shortcomings, but did not accept any blame.
“Even though I’m going through some challenges right now – I’m having to deal with it, I’m a f—–g man first and foremost. I’m responsible… and if I hurt them in any way that made their lives. difficult, I’m sorry,” he said.
Caesar’s response angered many investors, including Andre Ransome, who bought it for $200,000. He is suing Pina, just one of several lawsuits filed against both Cesar and Envy.
“Give people their money back and stop playing with people’s lives,” Ransome said, adding that he, like many others, invested because of DJ Envy’s endorsement of Caesar.
“There are so many layers to Envy’s cover-up and cover-up with the operation that it’s obvious,” he told News 4.
Radio personality DJ Envy responds to an I-Team investigation into one-time business partner Cesar Pina. Sarah Wallace reports.
Jose Rodriquez, who co-invested in real estate platform Flip 2 Dao with Cesar and Envy, said he mentioned to Envy via texts last summer that he was having financial problems.
“As of August 2022, he knew something was up with Cesar not paying his investors,” Rodriguez said. “So him saying he didn’t know Caesar was up is a lie.”
Envy has not been charged and wants all charges against him dismissed. NBC New York obtained a recent letter from Pina’s attorney offering partial cash settlements with some investors.