While DJ Envy is also considered a victim in what is being labeled as a “$40 Million Ponzi Scheme,” per the outlet, his endorsement of the venture on his show, “The Breakfast Club,” as well as at seminars has landed him in several lawsuits.
“We’ve helped so many people, not just regular people, but celebrities, athletes, executives,” DJ Envy said about the investment opportunity on his radio show, according to NBC-4.
Jose Santiago and his wife, Jessica Ortiz, invested in what they believed was their gateway to the “American Dream.” Their first encounter with Pina came after viewing a social media post featuring him and DJ Envy.
“He’s advertising this all over radio and television, so I thought this was legit,” Santiago expressed to the outlet. “We invested $200,000 and it looks like we won’t ever get it back.”
The pair confidently chucked up $200,000 of their own dollars to invest in a property in a Paterson neighborhood in New Jersey.
“That’s the reason I got into real estate, so we can actually start flipping properties, buying properties so we can have something for our kids in the future,” Ortiz told NBC-4.
The outlet states that under the deal presented to them, Santiago and Ortiz were investing in neglected properties and would receive a 30% return on their investment with profits coming within four months. However, Cesar wasn’t the owner of the actual property, and his absence was noticed in other cases.
“I am paying the interest right now every month, and I have nothing,” Santiago explained.
More investors have chimed in with allegations of losing a pretty penny. Nigel Chamblin alleges he lost over $800,000 on several properties, one of which was same real estate Ortiz and Santiago invested in.
”There were other people investing in these exact same properties,” Chamblin told NBC-4. ”It was a scam, it was a lie.”
Despite the growing allegations, Jennifer Pina, wife of Cesar, states to NBC-4, “I say, just hold tight and we’re going to come through.”
Amid the chaos, a judge has appointed a bankruptcy trustee to manage some of the Pinas’ companies.
Massimo D’Angelo, DJ Envy’s attorney, has since issued a statement.
“[Envy] is a victim, just like the other alleged victims are in connection with the scam,” he told the outlet. “He is contending daily with cases that are being filed improperly against him.”