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Drummer to Stars Charged With Swiping Kids Charity's $750K

Ex-UN music director Robin DiMaggio bought house for ex-wife, cars: prosecutors
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2018 7:43 AM CST
Robin DiMaggio speaks as United Nations musical director at a press conference in June 2015.   (United Nations)

(Newser) – A former United Nations musical director allegedly embezzled $750,000 from a charity concert for homeless and displaced children, spending some of the funds on a home for his ex-wife. Robin DiMaggio—a professional drummer who's worked with artists like David Bowie, Diana Ross, Tupac, and Johnny Cash—was arrested Friday on a felony wire fraud charge after a promise to help a nonprofit put on a star-studded charity concert in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, inspired by the 1985 Live Aid benefit concert, per KTLA and NBC News. Per CBS Los Angeles, DiMaggio, 47, was wired $750,000 in August 2016 to pay artists he agreed to recruit. But prosecutors say "he took the money, deposited it into his own account, never put it in an escrow account," then spent it on cars, living expenses, and a $250,000 home in Calabasas, Calif.

DiMaggio is also accused of paying off credit card debt and wiring $150,000 to his company, DiMagic Entertainment. The Peace for You Peace for Me Foundation demanded its money back when he suggested the concert scheduled for Oct. 1, 2016 be postponed, but DiMaggio said the artists had already been paid, reports Fox News. While battling a lawsuit from the concert sponsor in December 2016, DiMaggio instead claimed someone used his email to contact the foundation and withdraw funds, though he acknowledged buying the home as a partial settlement of his spousal support, per KTLA. The foundation was awarded a $1.2 million summary judgment when DiMaggio later filed for bankruptcy, per NBC. Released on $40,000 bond, the drummer must now wear a tracking device. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. (This rocker is accused of defrauding 100,000.)

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