Accountant Caught with Hand in the Pearl Jam Jar
by Teresa Ambord on
Accountant Rickey Charles Goodrich had it a little too good. Many bean counters would kill to serve as financial guru to the likes of Pearl Jam. Goodrich was hired in 2005, and the following year, he became the CFO of Curtis Inc., which was owned by the band’s manager, Kelly Curtis. Goodrich oversaw the touring activities, the fan club, and unfortunately . . . the money.
In August 2009, after cash flow problems surfaced, the band removed him as tour accountant “due to a series of late and incomplete accounting.” The complaint against Goodrich points out that, among other issues, $35,000 went missing. With a new accountant in place, the discrepancies cleared up for a while. But in May 2010, Goodrich was asked to fill in as tour accountant. That’s when things once again fell apart.
Very quickly, money began to disappear, including $15,000 Goodrich said was for “road cash,” which he claimed to have divided among the five band members. Then, when lead guitarist Mike McCready said he didn’t get any road cash, Goodrich changed his story. He said the money was used to give crew bonuses, but crew members denied receiving the money. After being confronted, Goodrich acknowledged making “loans” to himself by forging Curtis’ signature, and Goodrich paid back $45,000.
Bring in Sherlock
As money problems continued, a private investigator was brought in to get to the bottom of things. According to the investigator’s findings, from 2007 to 2010, Goodrich made a practice of using band money to pay personal debts, such as his wife’s American Express and other credit card bills, as well as to buy wine, make purchases at Amazon.com, pay $5,765 for a personal life insurance policy, and take his family on vacations and to spas.
Goodrich claims to have had permission to use the money and said he paid some of it back. But a closer look didn’t turn up permissions or repayments, and it did bring to light some questionable money transfers. After accusing him of having sticky fingers with its money, the band fired him.
Most sources say the amount ultimately taken was over $300,000. The Seattle Police Department told reporters Goodrich actually cost the band more than $500,000.
According to the King County Prosecutor (in King County, Washington), fifty-five-year-old Goodrich recently pled guilty to six counts of theft in the first degree and agreed to pay back all of the money. He could be facing up to fourteen months in prison.
To date, he has paid back $125,000 and is planning to pay back another $181,000 before he returns to court February 21. If he does make good on the debt, the state will seek a six-month prison sentence.
Goodrich, who lives in Novato, California, had to agree to have no contact with band members, Curtis, or Curtis’ wife.
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