Ex-‘Arsenio Hall Show’ Musical Director Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud for Embezzling $750,000 from a Charity Concert for Homeless Kids
LOS ANGELES – A professional drummer who has served as a musical director for the United Nations and “The Arsenio Hall Show” television program pleaded guilty today to one count of wire fraud for embezzling $750,000 from a charity concert for homeless children and using the stolen money to pay alimony to his ex-wife and buy cars for his mother and son.
Robin DiMaggio, 48, of Woodland Hills, entered his plea before United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee, who scheduled a March 4, 2020 sentencing hearing.
According to court documents, DiMaggio said he would assist the Peace for You Peace for Me Foundation, a Bulgaria-based non-profit organization, with organizing a charity concert in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia that was designed to raise money for and raise awareness of homeless and displaced children from conflict zones throughout the world. DiMaggio told the Foundation in a series of communications that he would be able to secure several celebrities to perform at the charity concert, court papers state.
On August 5, 2016, the foundation’s financial sponsor wired $750,000 to a DiMaggio-controlled account as a guarantee for future payments related to artists performing at the charity concert, according to DiMaggio’s plea agreement. Prior to the money transfer, DiMaggio falsely represented that he would not spend the money, which he would place in an escrow account and only later use to pay artists who would perform at the concert, the plea agreement states.
DiMaggio admitted he never set up the escrow account, and instead, several days later, he deposited the $750,000 into his personal bank account and used the money to make payments on cars, credit card debt and his living expenses. DiMaggio also admitted that within weeks of the wire transfer he used $251,370 of the funds to purchase a Calabasas home for his ex-wife. DiMaggio also bought his mother a $35,000 car and bought his son a $24,000 car, the plea agreement states. He also wired $150,000 of the funds to a bank account in the name of his company, DiMagic Entertainment, Inc. None of the transfers was sent to artists or their management in connection with the charity concert in Bulgaria.
The foundation’s financial sponsor later sued DiMaggio in Los Angeles Superior Court and DiMaggio ultimately filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. In his September 2017 bankruptcy filing, DiMaggio made false statements that he had not made alimony payments or given any gifts worth more than $600 to any person in the prior two years, the plea agreement states.
At his sentencing hearing, DiMaggio will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
The FBI investigated this case.
This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Poonam G. Kumar of the Major Frauds Section.