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Former ‘Arsenio Hall’ Bandleader Accused of Embezzling From Homeless Children’s Charity to Buy Calabasas Home

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Robin DiMaggio arrives for the Children's Defense Fund - California's annual Beat the Odds awards at Beverly Hills Hotel on Dec. 6, 2012. (Credit: Toby Canham / Getty Images)

Robin DiMaggio arrives for the Children’s Defense Fund – California’s annual Beat the Odds awards at Beverly Hills Hotel on Dec. 6, 2012. (Credit: Toby Canham / Getty Images)

A man who formerly worked as the musical director for “The Arsenio Hall Show” is named in a criminal complaint alleging he took $750,000 from a charity concert that was meant to benefit homeless children and used the money to buy a Calabasas home for his ex-wife, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Robin DiMaggio, a 47-year-old resident of Woodland Hills, was arrested Friday afternoon after being accused of felony wire fraud in the case, the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.

DiMaggio has also worked as a professional drummer and served as the music director of a concert put on by the United Nations.

The investigation centers on a charity event he said he would help put on in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia called “Peace for You, Peace for Me,” which sought to mimic 1985’s Live Aid to raise money for homeless and displaced children from conflict zones across the globe, according to the criminal complaint.

DiMaggio allegedly told the nonprofit he would be able to get several celebrities to perform, so the organization’s financial sponsor wired him $750,000 to pay the artists. But instead of putting the funds into an escrow account, as he promised he would, he deposited the money into his personal bank account, officials said.

Within days, the defendant had allegedly used the money to cover payments on cars and credit cards, among other living expenses. And within weeks, he had taken more than $250,000 to buy the residence in Calabasas, prosecutors said.

Although he did send $150,000 to a bank account for his business, DiMagic Entertainment, those funds weren’t used to pay any performers for the charity concert, the complaint alleges.

During that time, DiMaggio allegedly emailed organizers and told them “an entire group of managers” thought the benefit’s date should be postponed two months, prompting the sponsor to demand its money back. But the defendant said he couldn’t return it because he had already paid deposits to artists involved, according to investigators.

After being taken to court over the situation in Los Angeles County in December 2016, DiMaggio testified someone else had used his email to contact the foundation and had been responsible for withdrawing funds, though he did admit to using some to buy his ex-wife’s home as a partial settlement of his spousal support, officials said.

When DiMaggio filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy nine months later, the charity’s financial backers and his own company — which had also filed claims against him — were awarded $1.2 million.

If convicted of wire fraud, the 47-year-old would face a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in federal prison, prosecutors said.

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