In a shocking turn of events, Mr. Cesar Humberto Pina, a New Jersey real estate investor and influencer, and business partner of Power 105.1 DJ Envy, was apprehended today on charges related to a substantial Ponzi-like investment fraud scheme.
The arrest was announced by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Federal officials said Pina, 45, a Franklin Lakes, New Jersey resident, faces one count of wire fraud, as detailed in a federal complaint.
He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel in Newark federal court and was subsequently released on a $1 million secured bond with electronic monitoring.
The allegations suggest that Pina exploited his celebrity status and extensive social media presence to amass a devoted following of potential victims.
Promising unrealistically high returns, he purportedly defrauded numerous individuals out of millions of dollars.
Federal authorities are closely looking into Pena and DJ Envy's (Mr. Rashan Casey) business dealings.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger emphasized the commitment to safeguarding the public from such fraudulent schemes, pledging to prosecute individuals who deceive investors for their personal gain.
Tammy Tomlins, Special Agent in Charge of IRS – Criminal Investigation Newark Field Office, condemned Pina's actions as a fraudulent scheme that misled investors about the nature of his business and potential returns, ultimately defrauding them out of millions.
FBI – Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy underscored the impracticality of Ponzi schemes, warning investors not to let their hard-earned money fall into the wrong hands.
The case's documents and court statements reveal that Pina partnered with a celebrity disc jockey and radio personality to conduct real estate seminars across the country.
These seminars, self-promotion, and other marketing tactics contributed to his substantial social media following.
Beginning in 2017, Pina allegedly started accepting investments from victim investors, promising lucrative returns of 20 to 45 percent within five months for specific real estate projects in New Jersey and other states.
However, instead of fulfilling these promises, he operated a Ponzi-like scheme, intermingling victim funds, using new investments to pay off earlier victims, and diverting victim money for personal expenses.
The investigation has unveiled that Pina defrauded numerous investors of millions of dollars.
The charge of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain derived from the offense or pecuniary loss sustained by victims, whichever is greater.