LOS ANGELES(CN) – Federal prosecutors accused the former musical director of a 2013 reboot of “The Arsenio Hall Show” Monday of embezzling $750,000 from a charity for children displaced by conflicts across the globe.
Robin DiMaggio, 47, is said in the criminal complaint to have used about $250,000 to buy a home in Calabasas, California, for his ex-wife, while also making credit card payments with the charity’s money.
DiMaggio was arrested Friday on suspicion of a felony wire fraud charge stemming from his promise to secure celebrities to perform at a charity concert for a Bulgaria-based nonprofit that raises money and awareness of children displaced by war.
Organizers with The Peace for You Peace for Me Foundation wired DiMaggio $750,000 on Aug. 5, 2016, as a guarantee for future payments related to the concert, and DiMaggio promised he would deposit the money into an escrow account to pay artists, according to the criminal complaint.
But DiMaggio did not follow through on his promise and instead transferred the money into his personal bank account, prosecutors said. He used $251,370 to buy his ex-wife a home as part of his spousal support agreement and also transferred $150,000 to a bank account connected to his entertainment company.
Prosecutors said the day after he deposited the money into his personal bank account, DiMaggio emailed the charity organization’s financial sponsor to postpone the concert from Oct. 1, 2016, to later in the year.
DiMaggio is reported to have written that a group of artists’ managers wanted to postpone the concert. When the financial sponsor with the charity foundation demanded the money, DiMaggio said he would return it when the deposits were sent back to him.
According to the criminal complaint filed with the Central District of California, an FBI agent said they reviewed DiMaggio’s bank account and did not find any transfers to musical artists or their management.
Instead of the concert taking place that year, the charity organization’s sponsor sued DiMaggio in Los Angeles County Superior Court in December 2016.
During deposition, DiMaggio testified a third party used his email to broker the concert and took the money, but investigators said it was all DiMaggio.
DiMaggio blamed someone listed as B.S. in the criminal complaint, but in interviews conducted by investigators with people associated with the charity foundation and the financial sponsor “they never met or spoke by telephone with B.S.” and believed they were speaking with DiMaggio the entire time.
DiMaggio admitted he used funds for the charity to buy the home for his ex-wife and nine months later, he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. During his bankruptcy court proceedings, DiMaggio was told he would have to pay the financial sponsor and their company $1.2 million.
If DiMaggio is convicted of the wire fraud charge, he could face 20 years in federal prison.
DiMaggio is a former musical director who led a band that performed at the United Nations in 2011 and the 2013 revival of “The Arsenio Hall Show,” playing in the late-night talk show’s band.
An email sent to DiMaggio’s public relations representative was not immediately answered Monday.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.