Pearl Jam former exec charged with stealing $380K from band
The former chief financial officer for Pearl Jam has been charged with 33 counts of theft for allegedly stealing at least $380,000 from the Seattle band's management company.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The former chief financial officer for Pearl Jam's management company allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of several years from Seattle's seminal rock band, spending the money on lavish family vacations, spa treatments, life insurance and pricey California wines, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Rickey Goodrich was charged with 33 counts of theft Thursday, his 54th birthday, according to charging documents. A summons was sent to Goodrich's home in Novato, Calif., that day, ordering him to appear for arraignment June 28 in King County Superior Court.
Charged with 25 counts of first-degree theft and eight counts of second-degree theft, Goodrich is accused of bilking the band's management company out of at least $380,000 between October 2007 and June 2010, when his alleged embezzlement was discovered by another band accountant, charging papers say.
Goodrich was hired by Pearl Jam Touring Co. in 2005; the next year he was named chief financial officer for Curtis Inc., the management company owned by the band's manager, Kelly Curtis, the papers say.
Curtis Inc., and not the band, is the named victim in all 33 counts, the papers show.
"He was responsible for, and had complete authority over all financial matters related to Pearl Jam's touring operations, which included establishing budgets, approving court settlement statements with promoters, distributing 'road cash' to band and crew members and approving and paying for tour expenses," charging documents say.
When the band switched business-management companies in early 2006, the new company "looked to Goodrich to handle all tour-related financial matters," the papers say.
According to the charges, Goodrich used funds from Curtis Inc. to repeatedly make payments on his wife's American Express account and to pay for credit-card charges he racked up at wineries, hotels and spas. He also made a number of unauthorized wire transfers and spent $5,765 on a personal life-insurance policy, the documents say.
Unauthorized charges on a company credit card were made by Goodrich to a number of businesses, including Amazon.com, iTunes, hotels and restaurants, and to purchase airplane tickets for himself and family members, according to charging papers.
He also allegedly used some of the money to pay vendors associated with two companies he owns, the papers say.
In August 2009, Pearl Jam removed Goodrich as tour accountant "due to a series of late and incomplete accounting," including an unaccounted balance of $35,000 related to a 2005 tour, the papers say.
There had been no further problems related to the "timing or accountability of road cash" until May 2010, when Goodrich filled in for the band's regular tour accountant, the papers say.
New problems quickly arose, including a $15,000 payment in "road cash" Goodrich allegedly claimed was split between the five members of Pearl Jam.
When the band's lead guitarist, Mike McCready, said he'd never received his $3,000 share in road cash, Goodrich claimed the $15,000 had actually been used to pay for crew bonuses — which crew members also disputed receiving, charging papers say.
Goodrich was confronted about the financial discrepancies after that May 2010 tour, and he repaid the band $45,000 for so-called loans he paid to himself by forging Curtis' signature, the papers say.
Goodrich was fired in September 2010.
After the band initiated its own financial audit, Seattle police launched a criminal investigation in January 2011, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
"The alleged thefts date back a number of years, and there were a lot of bank records and financial documents that needed to be reviewed," he said of the lengthy investigation.
Goodrich, who has no criminal history, could face 3 ½ to nearly 5 years in prison if convicted, Donohoe said.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org