CRIME

Dave Matthews Band violinist theft suspect pleads guilty

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Richmond man has admitted embezzling at least $400,000 from Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley.

Getty Andrew Rothenberg, 39, pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud in federal court in Charlottesville, court documents show.

Rothenberg had been charged in a federal information on July 3.

According to the information, Rothenberg embezzled the money while working as a personal assistant and financial manager for a person identified only as "CBT". The U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed Tinsley was the victim.

Rothenberg 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, the information stated. Rothenberg's salary was later increased to $60,000.

He routinely padded the bills and took the excess money for his 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.

In one transaction on Feb. 21, 2012, Rothenberg fraudulently obtained $45,596. He obtained $41,388 in another transaction on Oct. 11, 2011. Other amounts taken ranged from about $1,200 to more than $14,000, according to the information.

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

Bondurant told U.S. District Court Judge Glen E. Conrad that 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."

U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy commended Tinsley for coming forward about the fraud.

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

Rothenberg faces up to 30 years in prison when sentenced Sept. 17.

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