Robin DiMaggio, the drummer and onetime musical director of The Arsenio Hall Show who recently composed a theme song for a graduating class of Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs, has been arrested for wire fraud for allegedly embezzling $750,000 from a charity concert for homeless children.
No other artists were involved in his alleged scheme. If convicted, DiMaggio could face up to 20 years in federal prison.
According to a criminal complaint filed Monday by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles, DiMaggio lied to a Bulgarian-based non-profit called the Peace for You Peace for Me Foundation, telling them that he’d help them with a charity concert in the Bulgarian capital to raise money for homeless and displaced children from war zones.
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 told the financiers that he would not spend the money, but would only place it in an escrow account to pay the artists.
The complaint, however, alleges that DiMaggio never set up the escrow account, and instead 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. An FBI investigation found that none of the transfers was sent to artists or their management in connection with the charity concert in Bulgaria, according to the complaint.
A few days 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’d 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 his deposition, DiMaggio testified that a third party had used his email account to contact the foundation about the concert and had been responsible for the withdrawal of most of the funds. He admitted during his deposition, however, 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 those bankruptcy court proceedings, the financial sponsor and his company, which also had filed claims against him in that court, were awarded $1.2 million.
DiMaggio, who has played with the likes of Paul Simon, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, once served as the musical director of the United Nations. He wrote the theme song for the LA County Deputy Sheriffs grads earlier this year: