Robin DiMaggio, who once served as musical director for the UN and for The Arsenio Hall Show, pleaded guilty Wednesday 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.
Neither Arsenio Hall nor his show were involved in any way in the theft.
According to court documents, DiMaggio said he would assist the Peace for You Peace for Me Foundation, a Bulgaria-based nonprofit organization, with organizing a charity concert in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia 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.
According to his plea agreement, the foundation’s financial sponsor wired $750,000 to a DiMaggio-controlled account on August 5, 2016, as a guarantee for future payments related to artists performing at the charity concert. Prior to the money transfer, DiMaggio falsely represented that he would not spend the money, but would place it in an escrow account that would only be used to pay artists who would perform at the concert.
DiMaggio admitted he never set up the escrow account, however, and instead, several days later, 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. He also admitted that within weeks of the wire transfer, he used $251,370 of the funds to purchase a Calabasas. CA home for his ex-wife. DiMaggio also bought his mother a $35,000 car and bought his son a $24,000 car, according to the plea agreement. 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, according to his the plea agreement.
DiMaggio, 48, of Woodland Hills, CA, was arrested in December 2018. He entered his plea today before U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee, who scheduled a March 4, 2020 sentencing hearing, where he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
The case, which was investigated by the FBI, is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Poonam G. Kumar of the Major Frauds Section.