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Local finance manager sentenced for fraud

Michael Schwartz January 17, 2014 4
The U.S. District Courthouse in Charlottesville. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

The U.S. District Courthouse in Charlottesville. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

A Richmond finance manager and former restaurateur was sentenced in federal court Friday to 18 months for defrauding his rock star client and was ordered to pay $1.25 million in restitution to the victim.

Getty Andrew Rothenberg, who for more than a decade handled the personal finances of Dave Matthews Band member and Charlottesville resident Boyd Tinsley, will serve nine months of his sentence in federal prison and nine months in home confinement. Three years of supervised release will follow.

Rothenberg was allowed to remain free and is scheduled to self-report to federal authorities March 1 to begin his incarceration. His attorney requested that he serve his time at a facility in Petersburg to be close to his wife and two children, one of whom was born last week.

Rothenberg was charged in July with one count of felony wire fraud on claims of skimming money from Tinsley’s bank accounts.

He pleaded guilty that month.

Rothenberg addressed Judge Glen Conrad at Friday’s hearing, apologizing for his crime and repeatedly describing the embarrassment it has caused him.

“I’m very sorry for not being as diligent as I could in my business conduct with Mr. Tinsley,” Rothenberg said in court. “It was extremely careless.

“I’m extremely embarrassed to be here. I accept my punishment and look forward to getting past this to support my family.”

The judge then handed down the sentence, which was at a lower end of federal punishment guidelines for such a crime. That was due in part to a plea agreement and Rothenberg’s cooperation with federal prosecutors. Both sides agreed that a reduced punishment was in order. The judge agreed, too, saying the sentence was a fair one.

“Mr. Rothenberg, I take to heart the things you said. My hope is you’ll be able to serve this time without incident and be successful in building a new life for you and your family,” Conrad said.

Boyd Tinsley (Photo by Flickr user Ryan Eilders)

Boyd Tinsley (Photo by Flickr user Ryan Eilders)

According to the case, Rothenberg, through his Richmond firm the Getty Group, worked as a personal assistant and financial manager for Tinsley, with duties that included helping the musician pay bills and conducting real estate investments.

Beginning in 2009, Rothenberg began inflating the amounts of Tinsley’s bills and keeping the difference. The scheme took place through 2012 and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, led in the case by Tim Heaphy, initially believed the range of Rothenberg’s theft to be between $1 million and $7 million.

Rothenberg and his attorney disputed that amount, and the two sides came to an agreement on a range of theft from Tinsley of $1 million to $2.5 million.

“This was a long-running fraud of someone of considerable means,” Heaphy said at Friday’s hearing.

Rothenberg agreed to and was ordered to make full restitution to Tinsley, who had asked that the court not give Rothenberg any prison time for the offense. Tinsley also requested that Rothenberg receive mental health treatment, Heaphy said.

Rothenberg, who graduated from St. Christopher’s School and attended the University of Georgia, previously told the court that he works in real estate in Richmond, although not in any licensed position. His most recent home address in Richmond is in the West End near St. Christopher’s School.

He also previously owned City Limit before selling the West End restaurant in 2012

Rothenberg was represented by attorney Tom Bondurant of Gentry Locke Rakes in Roanoke.

Charlottesville attorney Bud Treakle, who worked the case on Tinsley’s behalf, was present at Friday’s hearing.

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4 Comments »

  1. david barry January 17, 2014 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    pretty light sentence.

  2. Jeff Dubois January 18, 2014 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Guys like this always land on their feet, and I’m sure Mr Rothenberg will too. Heck, head manager of the Dave Matthews Band, music mogul, Coran Capshaw, was convicted of 2nd Degree Murder, and look where he is now. I’m also willing to bet there is more to this Rothenberg – Tinsley ordeal that what is being reported in the papers.. obvious by the light sentence handed down.

    I never wish anyone to fail, and I realize that people make mistakes. I hope Mr Rothenberg makes the best of this low point in his life, and comes back to make a positive contribution to society.

  3. Jack Spector January 20, 2014 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Our justice system failed miserably here.

  4. Kyle McKenna February 8, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Ya gotta love that Rothenberg’s main regret is being “embarrassed” for being “careless”…

    “oopsie, I did a boo-boo!”

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