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Dave Matthews' violinist conned

2013-07-25 10:44
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Charlottesville - A Virginia man who was a personal assistant and financial manager for Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley has admitted embezzling at least $400 000 from the musician.

Getty Andrew Rothenberg, who had been friends with Tinsley for about two decades, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to wire fraud in federal court in Charlottesville, court documents showed.

Rothenberg, 39, was initially paid $50 000 a year to pay Tinsley's personal bills and expenses and direct investments for him. He also handled various personal and financial arrangements for Tinsley's wife, court documents said. Rothenberg's salary was later increased to $60 000.

Rothenberg routinely padded the bills and took the excess money for personal use from 2009 through 2012. He also withdrew cash from several accounts controlled by Tinsley, wrote checks to himself and accessed lines of credit established in Tinsley's name.

'He knows what he did is wrong'

In one transaction on 21 February 2012, Rothenberg obtained $45 596. He got $41 388 in another transaction on 11 October 2011. Other amounts ranged from about $1 200 to more than $14 000, according to court documents.

Rothenberg faces up to 30 years in prison. Sentencing is set for 17 September.

Rothenberg's lawyer, Tom Bondurant, said during Tuesday's hearing Tinsley discovered the missing money and confronted Rothenberg in 2012, media outlets reported.

Bondurant said the two men had been friends for about 20 years.

"Andrew Rothenberg is a good man. He got caught up in some unfortunate circumstances," Bondurant said. "He knows what he did is wrong."

US Attorney Timothy Heaphy commended Tinsley for coming forward.

"This was a case he initiated - that when he discovered the fraud, he came forward," Heaphy said.

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