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United Nations Musical Director Accused Of Embezzling $750K From Charity Concert

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A professional drummer who has served as a musical director for the United Nations and "The Arsenio Hall Show" allegedly embezzled $750,000 from a charity concert for homeless children and used the pilfered money to buy his ex-wife a house in Calabasas, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Robin DiMaggio, 47, of Woodland Hills, was expected to make his first court appearance Monday following his arrest Friday afternoon, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say DiMaggio promised to help the Peace for You Peace for Me Foundation, a Bulgaria-based non-profit organization, with organizing a charity concert in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia that was designed to raise money for and raise awareness of homeless and displaced children from conflict zones throughout the world.

"He took the money, deposited it into his own account, never put it in an escrow account and then spent the money on cars, living expenses and purchasing a home for his ex-wife," Assistant U.S. Attorney Poonam Kumar said.

In a series of communications, DiMaggio allegedly told the Foundation that he would be able to secure several celebrities to perform at the charity concert.

In August 2016, the foundation's financial sponsor allegedly wired $750,000 to a DiMaggio-controlled account as a guarantee for future payments related to artists performing at the charity concert, prosecutors said.

DiMaggio allegedly pledged not to spend the money, and that he would place it in an escrow account to be used later to pay artists who would perform at the concert.

Children's Defense Fund-California 22nd Annual "Beat the Odds" Awards - Arrivals
Robin diMaggio arrives for the Children's Defense Fund-California 22nd Annual "Beat the Odds" Awards at Beverly Hills Hotel on December 6, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)

The complaint alleges DiMaggio never set up the escrow account and instead 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.

Prosecutors say within weeks of the wire transfer, DiMaggio used $251,370 of the funds to buy a Calabasas home for his ex-wife. He also wired $150,000 of the funds to a bank account in the name of his company, DiMagic Entertainment, Inc., according to the complaint.

None of the transfers was distributed to artists or their management in connection with the charity concert in Bulgaria, according to the complaint.

DiMaggio has performed or recorded with a number of A-list artists, including Paul Simon, David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Diana Ross, Tupac, Dr. Dre, Luther Vandross, Lil Jon, Martina McBride, Daft Punk, Johnny Cash, and Chris Isaak, according to his Wikipedia page.

He assumed the role of United Nations musical director in Sept. 2013.

DiMaggio also composed the theme song for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, believed to be the first of its kind.

The case has been investigated by the FBI.

If convicted, DiMaggio would face up to 20 years in federal prison.

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