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December 20, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Former manager pleads guilty to embezzling $300K from Pearl Jam

A former employee of Pearl Jam’s management company has pleaded guilty to six counts of theft for embezzling more than $300,000 from the rock band.

Rickey Goodrich, 55, pleaded guilty Thursday to six counts of first-degree theft for using company accounts to pay personal debts and fund lavish family vacations, spa treatments, life insurance and pricey California wines, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Goodrich has paid back $125,000 and has agreed to pay another $181,000 in restitution before his sentencing Feb. 21, according to the prosecutor’s office.  As part of the plea agreement, if the balance of restitution is paid before sentencing, the state will recommend a six-month jail sentence. If the balance is not paid before sentencing, the state will recommend a 14-month sentence in addition to the requirement that Goodrich pay back the remaining financial obligations, the prosecutor’s office said.

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, court papers say. As part of his plea deal, Goodrich, who lives in Novato, Calif.,  is not to have any contact with Curtis, his wife or the members of Pearl Jam.

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.

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 among the five members of Pearl Jam.

When the band’s lead guitarist, Mike McCready, said he’d never received his $3,000 share of the 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. He was charged with the thefts in June 2012.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Pearl Jam, theft


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