DMB Violinist’s Former Assistant Guilty of Wire Fraud
A former personal assistant and financial manager for a Charlottesville-based member of Dave Matthews Band admits he embezzled money from the performer. Getty Andrew Rothenberg, who worked for violinist Boyd Tinsley, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court Tuesday afternoon.
Right now, there's a discrepancy between his defense and prosecutors: whether he took hundreds of thousands of dollars - or millions.
Rothenberg, a 39-year-old Richmond man, told a federal judge Tuesday, "I'm here because I committed wire fraud."
"I want to commend Mr. Tinsley for coming forward. This was a case he initiated - that when he discovered the fraud, he came forward," said U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy.
Prosecutors say Rothenberg emailed Tinsley invoices for his monthly bills. But he padded the totals and took the extra money Tinsley paid to cover his personal expenses.
"Mr. Rothenberg fully admits he did falsify some invoices that caused the thefts of certain monies from Mr. Tinsley. He takes full acceptance, responsibility of that. He knows what he did was wrong," said Tom Bondurant, Rothenberg's attorney.
The feds also claim Rothenberg withdrew money from a Union First Market Bank line of credit he set up for Tinsley, as well as a hedge fund.
"He also just straight up took money out of Mr. Tinsley's accounts - did that repeatedly for a long period of time," Heaphy said.
All of this happened between 2009 and early 2012. Rothenberg's Roanoke-based attorneys estimate he took less than $400,000 from Tinsley's accounts. The feds say he skimmed between $1 million and $7 million off the top.
"Some things that look like theft now were actually investment deals, gifts, additional compensation and stuff like that," Bondurant said.
Rothenberg agrees to pay full restitution to Tinsley. The wire fraud charge carries up to a 30-year prison sentence. But Rothenberg may never do time behind bars - at the band member's request.
"That's based on part in Mr. Tinsley's close friendship with Mr. Rothenberg," Heaphy said.
The court will determine a final total of how much Rothenberg embezzled from Tinsley by his sentencing, which is scheduled for September 17.