“The Breakfast Club” host DJ Envy is facing potential arrest for non-compliance with a court order related to his business partnership with Cesar Pina. This development follows a judgment instructing the popular radio host to comply with a subpoena issued in connection with Pina’s company’s bankruptcy case.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Rosemary Gambardella, based in Newark, New Jersey, has directed the 46-year-old Hampton graduate on Dec. 20 to furnish all requested documents to the court-appointed trustee overseeing Pina’s company, Whairhouse LLC, by Jan. 8.
Failure to comply may lead to his arrest and subsequent appearance in the New Jersey bankruptcy court for a mandatory deposition, along with the possibility of facing additional sanctions.
Pina, whose company was pushed into bankruptcy by creditors four months ago, has been charged in a real estate scheme by federal prosecutors where he is accused of defrauding individuals of millions of dollars. The allegations against him prompted the bankruptcy proceedings.
Gambardella approved a motion filed by the trustee’s attorneys that stated DJ Envy failed to meet the Nov. 28 deadline set by a subpoena issued on Nov. 9.
The host, known by his real name Raashaun Casey, was requested to submit communications and documents pertaining to Whairhouse and the company behind an apartment complex Pina owns.
This motion does not stop with Envy but also includes others involved in the case, including Pina, 45, and his wife, Jennifer Iturralde Pina. The couple were hit with their subpoenas a day after Envy.
The judge said she is considering hosting a hearing “to address appropriate sanctions against Cesar Pina, Jennifer Iturralde Pina and Raashaun Casey for contempt of this Court’s order, including, but not limited to an order for arrest to bring the parties to the United States Bankruptcy Court.”
While Pina was arrested on Oct. 18, DJ Envy has not been accused of any crimes in connection to this case. The radio personality maintains that he is a victim rather than a criminal, deceived also by his former friend. He, along with his new legal team, has actively worked to distance himself from his former partner and the negative headlines associated with the case.
Envy is now confronted with a new federal lawsuit filed by two individuals who assert that his association and the purported $100 million real estate portfolio he shared with Pina played a pivotal role in their wanting to invest in Pina’s enterprises.
This lawsuit will add to Envy’s other legal worries. He is already a defendant in various state court lawsuits related to the investment scheme, and he is currently contending with a revived lawsuit concerning an alleged incident where his German shepherd reportedly bit a woman’s hip at his former residence in Kinnelon, New Jersey.
Alexander Schachtel is the legal representation for multiple plaintiffs pursuing complaints against the Envy and the Pina couple.
In an interview with Legal Affairs and Trials on Wednesday, Dec. 20, he discussed the celebrity’s role in the case, asserting that he possesses “substantial evidence that implicates DJ Envy.” This evidence not only suggests Envy was not merely a victim but actually profited from Pina’s operations.
Among the evidence are numerous photo and video promotions of real estate seminars, some featuring Envy alone, actively encouraging prospective investors to enroll.
“We also have bank statements which show that the two had multiple joint bank accounts earning at least $330k through 2021 from their joint seminars alone,” Schachtel said.
Adding, “We anticipate that when we get complete bank records via discovery there will be much more evidence in that department.”
It will be challenging for Envy to separate himself from Pina’s real estate dealings because he was the celebrity face of several business promotions and seminars, where investors paid $100 to $200, designed to teach people how to flip houses. He also used his social media platforms to promote their investment enterprise.
“So I did these seminars and brought industry professionals to all these seminars, whether it was real estate agents from different markets, contractors, money lenders. I even brought Auction.com to actually show people how to purchase houses online,” he said when the allegations were first presented, according to Complex.
“Now Cesar, if he took money I wasn’t privy to it nor did I even know,” he said. “But I do understand how people feel if they did give him money because I gave him a lot of money that I didn’t see a dollar of return.”
The plaintiffs are looking at that as a loose end that will connect the dots for the courts to Envy.
The lawsuit, filed on Dec. 8, says, “Advertising for the seminars was done heavily on the radio through the 105.1 New York broadcast station and particularly on DJ Envy’s show, The Breakfast Club as well as through billboards and other radio stations.”
Envy has not publicly addressed the bankruptcy judge’s recent motion but continues to maintain his innocence.