The former musical director of “The Arsenio Hall Show” was sentenced Wednesday to 27 months in federal prison for embezzling nearly $1 million from a charity concert intended to raise money for children made homeless by war, officials said.
In addition to his sentencing, Robin DiMaggio, 49, of Woodland Hills, was also ordered to serve one year of home confinement after completing his prison sentence, according to a news release from the United States Attorney, Central District of California.
During the summer of 2016, DiMaggio allegedly promised to help a Bulgaria-based nonprofit organization, called Peace for You Peace for Me Foundation, to organize a concert in the country’s capital, Sofia. The show was intended to raise money to help children who lost their homes because of global conflicts.
DiMaggio, a professional drummer who also had served as a musical director for the United Nations, offered to get world-famous musicians and celebrities to perform at the concert, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He claimed at the time that he needed money to book the artists and so the foundation’s financial sponsor wired him nearly $1 million.
Instead of using the money for the charity concert, DiMaggio used it to fund his lifestyle and pay his debts, officials said.
Within weeks of the last wire transfer of $750,000, he used $251,370 of the funds to purchase a home in Calabasas for his ex-wife. He also bought his mother a $35,000 car and his son a $24,000 car, officials said. DiMaggio also wired $150,000 of the funds to a bank account in the name of his company, DiMagic Entertainment Inc.
None of the money was ever sent to the performers for the charity concert.
“The concert never happened and this much-needed money was never raised for this charitable cause,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “[DiMaggio] lined his own pockets at the expense of [the foundation’s financial sponsor] and the children that would have benefited from the concert’s proceeds.”
The financial sponsor of the nonprofit later sued DiMaggio in Los Angeles Superior Court, where DiMaggio continued to lie in court proceedings that someone else had stolen the money, according to the Attorney’s Office.
DiMaggio also forged bank documents and deleted correspondence while the civil litigation was happening, and he eventually 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.
Judge Dolly M. Gee, who sentenced DiMaggio on Wednesday, described his actions as “a despicable crime of sheer greed.”
A restitution hearing in the case is to be scheduled in coming months.