United Nations Musical Director Arrested on Federal Wire Fraud Charge Alleging $750,000 Embezzlement from a Charity Concert
LOS ANGELES – A professional drummer who has served as a musical director for the United Nations and the Arsenio Hall television show has been arrested on a felony wire fraud charge for allegedly embezzling $750,000 from a charity concert for homeless children and using the pilfered money to buy his ex-wife a house in Calabasas.
Robin DiMaggio, 47, of Woodland Hills, was arrested Friday afternoon. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court.
According to the criminal complaint that led to his arrest, 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 allegedly told the Foundation in a series of communications that he would be able to secure several celebrities to perform at the charity concert.
On August 5, 2016, the foundation’s financial sponsor allegedly wired $750,000 to a DiMaggio-controlled account as a guarantee for future payments related to artists performing at the charity concert. Prior to the money transfer, DiMaggio allegedly 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.
DiMaggio never set up the escrow account, the complaint alleges. 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. Within weeks of the wire transfer, DiMaggio allegedly used $251,370 of the funds to purchase a Calabasas home for his ex-wife. 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, according to the complaint.
On August 10, 2016 – the day after he allegedly put the $750,000 into his personal bank account – DiMaggio emailed the foundation’s financial sponsor, stating that “an entire group of managers” believed the charity concert in Bulgaria should be postponed from October 1, 2016 to December 1, 2016, during the Bulgarian winter. When the foundation’s financial sponsor demanded the $750,000 back, DiMaggio wrote back that he had sent the deposit to the artists as agreed and that he would return the funds when the deposits were returned.
The financial sponsor sued DiMaggio in Los Angeles County Superior Court in December 2016 and during deposition DiMaggio testified that a third party had used DiMaggio’s email account to contact the foundation about the concert and had been responsible for the withdrawal of most of the funds, court papers state. However, DiMaggio also admitted at the deposition that he used $251,370 in funds to buy the Calabasas home for his ex-wife as a partial settlement of his spousal support.
Nine months later, DiMaggio filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. During DiMaggio’s bankruptcy court proceedings, the financial sponsor and his company, which also had filed claims against him in that court, were awarded $1.2 million.
A complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If he were to be convicted of the wire fraud charge, DiMaggio would face a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
This case has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Poonam G. Kumar of the Major Frauds Section.