Robin DiMaggio, the former musical director for The Arsenio Hall Show, pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling $750,000 from a charity concert meant to benefit homeless children, according to federal prosecutors.
DiMaggio, 48, stole the money from a concert organized by the Bulgaria-based charity Peace for You Peace for Me, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles said in a news release.
He was arrested Friday, and later pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud after using the funds to pay alimony to his ex-wife and buy cars for his mother and son.
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DiMaggio is a professional drummer who’s worked with Paul Simon, David Bowie, Diana Ross, Dr. Dre, and Luther Vandross, according to his online bio. He also served as musical director for a concert organized by the United Nations.
He told the Bulgarian charity he could use his contacts to book celebrities to perform at the concert, according to prosecutors.
The event, inspired by the 1985 Live Aid benefit concert, was meant to raise money for homeless and displaced children from war zones around the world.
In August 2016, the foundation wired him a $750,000 down payment, but none of the money went to artists or their management, prosecutors said.
DiMaggio was sued in Los Angeles County in December 2016, and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.
He later admitted that within weeks of receiving the money, he used $251,370 to purchase a Calabasas home for his ex-wife, bought his mother a $35,000 car and purchased a $24,000 car for his son, prosecutors said. He also wired $150,000 of the funds to a bank account in the name of his company, DiMagic Entertainment, Inc., according to prosecutors.
DiMaggio faces a maximum 20 years in federal prison. He’ll be sentenced on March 4, 2020