LOS ANGELES – The former musical director of ‘The Arsenio Hall Show’ was sentenced Wednesday to more than two years in federal prison for embezzling nearly $ 1 million from a Bulgarian charity for homeless children and used the money to buy three cars and settle child support debts with his ex-wife.
Robin DiMaggio, 49, of Woodland Hills, was convicted by US District Judge Dolly M. Gee, who described his actions as “a despicable crime of sheer greed,” according to the US attorney’s office.
Gee also ordered DiMaggio to serve a year of house arrest after he served his 27-month prison sentence. A restitution hearing in the case will be scheduled in the coming months in federal court in Los Angeles.
DiMaggio lied to the nonprofit Peace for You Peace for Me Foundation, telling them he would help organize a charity concert in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia to raise funds for homeless and displaced children in areas of war.
The foundation wired nearly $ 1 million to DiMaggio as collateral for the artists performing at the 2016 charity concert. Prior to the transfer, DiMaggio pledged to put the funds into an escrow account to pay the alleged artists, including including Mick Jagger and Earth, Wind & Fire, who in reality had never agreed to perform.
Instead, DiMaggio used the money to make payments on family members’ cars, credit card debts, and living expenses. He withdrew tens of thousands of dollars in cash, including over $ 10,000 in Las Vegas.
DiMaggio’s theft “deprived countless children of the financial proceeds that would have been collected through this gig,” federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
DiMaggio’s lawyer wrote in court documents that his client – who pleaded guilty last year to one count of wire fraud – acted “out of desperate greed.”
The promoter then sued DiMaggio in Los Angeles Superior Court, where DiMaggio continued to lie in court proceedings that someone else stole the money. DiMaggio also forged bank documents and deleted correspondence as this civil litigation went on, and he eventually filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. In his September 2017 bankruptcy filing, DiMaggio made false statements that he did not pay support or give gifts over $ 600 to anyone in the previous two years.
DiMaggio – who worked in the band on the Arsenio Hall late night TV show in 2013 – describes himself as a professional drummer and percussionist who has performed or recorded with Paul Simon, David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Diana Ross, Tupac, Dr. Dre et al. He also claims to have the recurring title of Music Director at the United Nations.
DiMaggio said in an interview posted on his website that although he “wasn’t born yet, my great-aunt was Marilyn Monroe (and) my great-uncle was Joe DiMaggio.”
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