Philadelphia real estate influencer accused of fraud and deceit

Greg Parker, aka “Big Bizzneesss” sold a dream that investors say has been a nightmare

Philadelphia Real Estate Influencer Accused of Fraud
Greg Parker Jr. and Danielle Nikki Parker (Instagram; Danielle Nikki Parker)

In the world of social media, real estate influencers Greg Parker Jr., known by his online persona Big Bizzneesss, and his wife, Danielle “Nikki” Morris Parker, seemed to offer a dream come true for thousands of young investors looking to break into the real estate market. 

With their lavish lifestyle showcased against backdrops of private planes, luxury cars, and a multimillion-dollar mansion, the Parkers shared their rags-to-riches story of building a real estate empire in North Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

They promised to empower their Instagram followers to replicate their success. However, allegations of fraud and deceit are now threatening to unravel their empire.

The Parkers enticed their 285,000 Instagram followers with investment seminars promising to unveil the secrets of profiting from distressed real estate markets. The entry fee for these seminars ranged from $97 to $297, with additional upsells, including one-on-one mentorship and opportunities to invest in hand-picked properties at supposedly “rock bottom” prices. 

They cultivated a sense of urgency, urging participants not to miss out on lucrative opportunities.

Many investors were drawn in, including Benjamin Nelson, an undergraduate at Drexel University at the time. After attending seminars and making a short-term investment, Nelson trusted the Parkers with $20,000 for a property purchase. 

However, the sale never materialized, and his attempts to contact them were met with silence.

“I keep getting the runaround. I just want to know what’s going on,” Nelson texted Parker last year, according to the outlet. “Playing with someone’s hard earned money is one of the worst things you can do.”

Similar stories began emerging as more aspiring investors filed federal lawsuits against the Parkers under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as RICO. 

These lawsuits allege that the couple, along with their web of companies, defrauded clients by promising mentorship and property sales that never happened or involved properties with significant issues.

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Two of the RICO lawsuits have been settled, but a bankruptcy filing by Danielle Parker’s company put two more settlements on hold. The Cleveland FBI office could neither confirm nor deny an investigation into Parker’s activities, but questions from an FBI agent suggest a possible probe into potential financial crimes.

Other personal finance influencers who turned into scam-busters began speaking out against the Parkers, sharing stories of financial ruin and desperation from alleged victims. As the lawsuits continue to pile up, the Parkers’ empire faces further scrutiny.

Critics argue that the Parkers are part of a larger ecosystem that preys on low-income, first-time investors, offering expensive programs that often lead to more debt. Some financial advisers point out that such schemes have proliferated in recent years, capitalizing on stimulus checks, unemployment support, and forgivable small-business loans.

Parker’s rise to fame was fueled by his appearances on podcasts and shows like “Earn Your 

Leisure.” However, as the allegations against him gained traction, some of these appearances were removed. Despite the mounting evidence against him, Parker continued to portray a successful image on social media.

The Parkers’ story of supposed success mirrors the bootstrap narrative of former President Donald Trump, whom Greg Parker Jr. has cited as a role model. (He and Trump have something in common in both being accused of running afoul of RICO statutes, with Trump being criminally indicted in Georgia.) 

Despite bankruptcy filings and financial stress, the Parkers have managed to build a multimillion-dollar empire that combined real estate deals with mentoring programs.

Other influencers have been accused of swindling real estate investors.

Two New Jersey real estate influencers and a prominent radio DJ have been accused of taking a $1.5 million investment for an apartment project that never materialized. 

Anthony Barone and Anthony Martini filed a lawsuit last week in New Jersey Supreme Court regarding the alleged fraud, reported. The pair are seeking compensatory, consequential and punitive damages.

— Ted Glanzer

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