Brazilian Realtor Cristiano Piquet Accused of Faking Family Link to Boost Condo Sales

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Cristiano Piquet

​Cristiano Piquet has it all: fast cars, luxury boats, beautiful women, and a booming business. Since 2005, Piquet Realty has sold hundreds of millions of dollars of prime Miami condos to his fellow Brazilians. His handsome, freckled face has graced business segments on CNN and Al Jazeera. He even has his own company calendar of supermodels.

But in the past year, cracks have appeared in Piquet's perfectly painted life. His claim that he's related to one of Brazil's most famous racecar drivers is being disputed by the driver's daughter. And now a former employee is suing him for breach of contract.

Piquet arrived in Miami in 2001 with notions of glory -- just not in real estate.

"I was already a three-time national racing champion in Brazil when they invited me to race in America," he tells Riptide. "I moved here to race cars. That's all I did until 2005, when I got my real estate license."

Business took off, perhaps in part because of Piquet's supposedly famous pedigree. In 2008, the Miami Herald described him as the nephew of Brazil's most famous racecar driver, three-time Formula 1 champion Nelson Piquet. A few months later, when another reporter asked him if he would race on the same team as his supposed cousin -- Nelson Piquet Jr. -- Cristiano answered, "Unfortunately, no... [but] we are still working on this deal."

And until recently, his website said he hailed from "one of the most recognized families in the area of racing."

Not so fast, Piquet's daughter says. "Maybe we share a great, great, great, great-grandparent," Kelly Piquet says. "The bottom line is that he has our same last name but he's not related. I don't know why he keeps saying that."

When New Times confronts him, Cristiano Piquet claims he has never said he's Nelson Piquet Sr.'s nephew.

"I call Nelson [Jr.] my 'adopted cousin,' " he says.

If that weren't confusing enough, he adds, "We all came from one guy who came from France to Brazil. It's a small family. Everybody is related somehow, and we are very close."

The not-so-family feud might not be his biggest problem. Claudia Dena, a former employee at Piquet Realty, is now suing him over $72,658 in commissions she says Piquet owes her.

"I sold almost $3 million in properties for him," Dena says. "I worked, and he didn't pay me at all."

"This lady is trying to ask for a commission that she's not entitled to," Piquet says of the suit, which is in arbitration. "She was just trying to play me."

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.

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40 comments
garage equipment
garage equipment

I've watch the video and read the article as well. I must say that this was really something. Opinions from others might encounter as well.

DeCastro
DeCastro

FACT: he paid a Miami Local to marry him for immigration Status. This is a crime, someone should report it! Defraudifng the Fed..

Honey
Honey

He will end up in jail for sure!! No doubts abot it. And Piquet Realty will be shut down for sure!!

Nam
Nam

young, handsome and rich, easy way to judge a person without knowing his back ground

FOHLA and UOL Brazil Article
FOHLA and UOL Brazil Article

Please refer to the article and google it  With a heading "CORRETOR DIZ QUE É SOBRINHO DE PIQUET PARA PROMOVER EMPRESA"  This article is written by Monica Bergamo of the Newspaper FOHLA.  FOHLA is a very well recognized newspaper in Brazil and part of UOL.

Daniel Xavier
Daniel Xavier

Well, it doesn´t surprise me. Just check his background in Belo Horizonte, Brazil...Debts, debts and more debts - that is why he (and his family) ran to USA - what a shame Mr. Piquet

John Eric
John Eric

Let's first address the issue of being a cousin and we will all see that in fact Cristiano Piquet is related to the family which shares the same racing pedigree. As Merriam-Webster defines it:a : a child of one's uncle or aunt b : a relative descended from one's grandparent or more remote ancestor by two or more steps and in a different line

According to Nelson Piquet's daughter they are in fact distant cousins. Nelson Piquet Jr is constantly with Cristiano, they race together and are frequently seen socializing and I believe Cristiano has sponsored Nelson at certain racing events. Ive seen Nelson Piquet Jr sporting different Piquet Realty garments and helping to promote Piquet Realty.

Let's now address the employee dispute. Considering the number of realtors which have flowed through the doors of Piquet Realty (I'm assuming upwards of 100) to have one employee dispute is not uncommon. Let the law figure this out and if there is a settlement or agreement I'm sure it will be in the interest of fairness and whatever the law sees as fit.

In summation, this is nothing but a character assassination. What this article does not mention is that Cristiano Piquet has been pivotal in salvaging our horrible overbuilt over-hyped local economy and has aided in bringing hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars to resurrect the Miami skyline and real estate market. The explosion of the Brazilian economy has led to real estate speculation which with the help of Cristiano Piquet has been corralled to our shores, more importantly, Miami. He took it upon himself to go to Brazil, risking his time and efforts to educate the Brazilian speculators that the United States is good, the Unites States is where to put your money and most importantly to create a community which welcomes Brazilians and welcomes their hard earned money. Instead of making Cristaino Piquet a pariah, lets make a Thank You Cristiano Day! More people should follow in his footsteps and fix the rest of this country. We just need one Cristiano in each city and we should be off to a better start. This is the American way and he is living the American dream.

Tom
Tom

I have done business with Piquet and have only good things to say about him.  This article was obviously advanced by Dena to try and get leverage in her lawsuit.  It is shameful that New Times allows itself to be a pawn in people's petty jealousy.

ana
ana

Unfortunately in today's society, controversy seems to accompany success.  Professionally speaking, Cristiano is a man of integrity and for every disgruntled person there is a happy one.  You can never please everyone.  Regarding any blood relation to Nelson, reference to family ties is nothing more than a term of endearment which clearly has been twisted by someone threatened by Piquet's success or in order to attract more readers.  After all, who wants to read about a young hard working professional who has succeeded without any drama?  Shame on this paper for simply not reporting the facts and attracting readers based on heresay. I'm not brazilian, nor friends, just simply a customer who couldn't have asked for better service. 

Braga854
Braga854

piquet is a joker,  he has 8 companies with his PIQUET name, law office, design, cars, concierge, etc etc.. all based out of the same office!! super cheezy. Im suprised he doesnt have Piquet Vodka, Piquet Hot Dogs, Piquet Models,... he seems very douchey always trying to portray an image of a playboy..  what a loser...." hey look at me" type...

Cristiano Piquet
Cristiano Piquet

" GREAT SPIRITS HAVE ALWAYS ENCOUNTERED VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS " - Albert Einstein

" Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead "

" Haters don't really hate you. In fact, they hate themselves because you are a reflection of what they wish to be. "

God Bless all of you ! Cheers :-)

Forge
Forge

Dishonest Cristiano Piquet marketing himself over the name of the famous car racer to allure buyers to trust him.

In general everything he says has many deviations from the truth. Most of his friends don't trust him.

He is very fake. Even in partnerships, he is the only one who makes the money. He uses girls a bates to persuading buyers to believe they are dealing with a legit honest person.

He should be in jail.

Mike
Mike

Unfortunately sucess brings envy of losers. "GREAT SPIRITS HAVE ALWAYS ENCOUNTERED VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS". Albert Einstein

Natalie Fougere
Natalie Fougere

Everyone knows that Cristiano is very fake and dishonest. Nothing that he sells is really what he says. it is a shame for Miami.

Zak
Zak

What a useless article, omfg who gives a rat's ass about this bullcrap, this is worse than reality tv, get a life tards.....

Kat
Kat

“Sensationalism is a type of editorial bias in mass media in which events and topics in news stories and pieces are over-hyped to increase viewership or readership numbers. Sensationalism may include reporting about generally insignificant matters and events that don't influence overall society and biased presentations of newsworthy topics in a sensationalist, trivial or tabloid manner.”

Jstein79
Jstein79

cristiano piquet seems to have a HUGE EGO,  his youtube videos are very cheesy.. i get what image he is trying to sell, but he is trying too hard.. it is kinda of comical. 

Pedro Brazil
Pedro Brazil

Envy! Honest and hardworking guy. i bought my property in Miami with him. Amazing end nice guy.

Julia
Julia

i know cristiano, he is a workaholic, serious guys and he is helping our country. 

Miami lies
Miami lies

This Brazilian salesman is like Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff who falsely claimed his grandfather founded RCA.

michael wind
michael wind

great now we have brazilian criminals coming here,they have to compete with cuban and russian mafia.

Beatriz Morrison-Licht
Beatriz Morrison-Licht

Eric,

I would also like to add, that the American Dream is open to the World.  Those who come to make an honest living and abide by the laws of the United States. This is a Country, Great by all measures and built on the foundation of immigrants seeking a better life, free, and with a better chance to succeed. 

What it is not, is a refuge for persons that want to bring their deceitful ways and fool others into believing them and stealing from others.  There is a place for them too, but it is not in society. Anti- Socials can have a condo too with 3 warm meals a day, with a yard and basketball courts. 

The explosion of the Brazilian economy is bringing them to our shores, I just hope there are other real estate agents that can help them find a good deal, instead of being showboated around by people that have zero knowledge of the local real estate market. If you were American, would you seek a guy from your town in Brazil to guide you in the Brazilian property market?   The language barrier is the only obstacle, but I don't  believe that you can make a case. Selling real estate is more than just taking a car ride and googling properties for sale.

Oh, and check your calculator, I think you added too many zeros on the back end of your sales figures. But then again, if you wrote that,  you probably can't add either.

Beatriz Morrison-Licht
Beatriz Morrison-Licht

Dear Eric,

What part of "Kelly Piquet says "The bottom line is that he has our same last name but he's not related. I don't know why he keeps saying that." Did you not understand.

This is old news in Brazil :  Please refer to the article and google it  With a heading "Corretor diz que é sobrinho de Piquet para promover empresa"  This article is written by Monica Bergamo of the Newspaper FOHLA.  FOHLA is a very well recognized newspaper in Brazil and part of UOL.

Furthermore, when Mr. Cristiano Piquet was interviewed by the New Times, he was asked if he was related and he said "When New Times confronts him, Cristiano Piquet claims he has never said he's Nelson Piquet Sr.'s nephew." and ""I call Nelson [Jr.] my 'adopted cousin,". 

As far as Kelly Piquet saying "Maybe we share a great, great, great, great-grandparent," Kelly Piquet says. "The bottom line is that he has our same last name but he's not related. I don't know why he keeps saying that." 

If you go far enough maybe they can swab the inside of your mouth at a National Geographic DNA testing and swabbing site and you can say your related to Mr. Cristiano Piquet and Mr. Nelson Piquet and the whole entire planet, as we all came from Africa at some point!  So you understand her point saying a great, great, great, great grandparent.  It was a euphemism to nicely put the profanity that she would have rather said.

I dont blame you for trying to defend your friend, but the truth behold he has used the good will name of a famous race car driver and twisted the truth  to boost sales.  Its very clear.  The real problem is when Mr.Nelson Piquet takes the initiative to sue for "intellectual property infringement".  Thats when the rubber will finally meet the road!

BellaQ
BellaQ

 Dear John, You can get off of your KNEES already!!! I see you are a professional _ _ _ _ sucker. Very good at It.  You do have a good point in regards to getting the brazilians to overpay for condos but it does not change the fact that Mr. Cristiano is FAKE and Douchey. Please reference his YouTube videos.

Beatriz Morrison-Licht
Beatriz Morrison-Licht

The paper is clearly writing an article based on the facts, reported through interviewing the affected party (Nelson Piquet's Family).  Intellectual Property is a commodity that people pay for, that is why Celebrity endorsements are paid for at such a high price by companies all over the world.  Mr. Cristiano Piquet has lied to the public and used a notable Brazilian Celebrity and has taken his likeness and  good will value  with out the proper authorization from the celebrity.  That is a fraud, and it is stealing. Does Mr. Cristiano Piquet have an agreement with Mr. Nelson Piquet where he is using his Celebrity Endorsement for a fee?   I don't think that Mr. Nelson Piquet's family would be quoted in the paper in Brazil and in Miami saying that they "Do not know why Cristiano Piquet says he is a relative, when he is not".  The article is about deception and fraud, not about hearsay.  The facts were derived from the source, and public records.  Those are the facts.

Beatriz Morrison-Licht
Beatriz Morrison-Licht

It really amazes me how people can deliberately use the good will value, intellectual property rights of another for personal gain. The point of this article is about Intellectual Property Rights being abused. It is a fraud. Kelly Piquet is quoted saying that "they are not related". He has advertised that he is related. How is that opposition from mediocre minds? Its the truth revealed. People talking behind your back? It's a fact. They are speaking the truth. I don't think anyone hates, it is more like no one likes to be lied to. Or I guess Nelson Piquet signed a contract giving you the exclusive right to say you are cousins and he is receiving royalties from the good will value of his racing career?

Beatriz Morrison-Licht
Beatriz Morrison-Licht

It really amazes me how people can deliberately use the good will value, intellectual property rights of another for personal gain. The point of this article is about Intellectual Property Rights being abused. It is a fraud. Kelly Piquet is quoted saying that "they are not related". He has advertised that he is related. How is that opposition from mediocre minds? Its the truth revealed. People talking behind your back? It's a fact. They are speaking the truth. I don't think anyone hates, it is more like no one likes to be lied to. Or I guess Nelson Piquet signed a contract giving you the exclusive right to say you are cousins and he is receiving royalties from the good will value of his racing career?

Jstein79
Jstein79

 and your point is?? sweetie this is not the wall street journal.. but thanks for the wiki

Jorge M
Jorge M

Watch what you say about Cubans, this City was built on their backs.

josh
josh

you speak as a scorned woman.... as though you have been personally effected in a negative way by this man ...

Turbulence54
Turbulence54

"facts derived from public records?"  well that about sums it all up.  Speaking as a customer the "facts" are simply that I had an opportunity to do business with this individual and he could not have been more professional and decent.  As far as any "proper authorization from the celebrity" I highly doubt that making reference to someone is now subject to "authorization".  After all, are WE not both making reference to the "celebrities" as you refer to them?  These are two high profile individuals, successful in their own right, and I can assure you that neither of the Mr. Piquets this article refers to needs the other for their ongoing success. Furthermore, prior to reading this article, I had no idea who Nelson Piquet is.  Certainly was not the subject of any conversation that I ever had with Mr. Cristiano Piquet. 

Turblence54
Turblence54

done spending time on this back and forth.  I only speak from a personal experience with Piquet which "factually" was flawless.  Who said what, and why they said it and when and if is really irrelevant.  That is between the Piquets and really nobody's elses business.  As for his lawsuit by a "former" employee, that is for the courts to determine. not me and certainly not you.  i just react to tabloid reporting, cheapens the article and the subject matter so now on to some other news that may really make a difference in the big scheme of things.

Razille
Razille

 beatriz, you are right on. funny how cristiano begged his friends and clients to come on here to try to save face. to everyone reading this blog. check out his cheezy you tube channel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...  poor loser hires a camera guy and host to film him at events like he is important. he wanted fame? this article will be forever cemented on google searches. congrats!

Beatriz Morrison-Licht
Beatriz Morrison-Licht

"Claudia Dena, a former employee at Piquet Realty, is now suing him over $72,658 in commissions she says Piquet owes her."

He is being sued its a fact.

Kelly Piquet says "The bottom line is that he has our same last name but he's not related. I don't know why he keeps saying that.".

Kelly was interviewed and said that, that is a fact.

Nelson Piquet is a Wealthy and Prominent Business Man and a 3 time Formula 1 Race Car Champion.    

This is an intellectual property claim that Mr. Nelson Piquet will eventually have filed against Mr. Cristiano Piquet.

The article is factual and is not slanderous, it's a fraud that is now exposed. First in Brazil and now it has hit the wire in the USA.

It's the tip of the iceberg.

Jorge M.
Jorge M.

The Cubans took a small farmers town and made it a City, they have bequeathed a positive change unto this generation. Show some respect.

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