The ex-CFO of the management company for Pearl Jam has been sentenced in King County Superior Court to 14 months in prison for stealing from the band. The former executive, Rickey Charles Goodrich, 55, pleaded guilty in December to six charges of first-degree theft.
Goodrich, from Novato, California, was an executive at Curtis Management, a management firm owned by the manager of Pearl Jam, Kelly Curtis. Hired in 2005 by Pearl Jam Touring Company, Inc., he became the CFO of Curtis Management the following year. For several years, Goodrich used company funds to pay an American Express card in his wife’s name and to pay his own credit card, which he used for expensive wines, hotel stays, and spa treatments. He also racked up charges on the company’s credit card for plane tickets, restaurants, and merchandise from Amazon.com.
Due to several discrepancies in the financial reporting of the company in 2009, he was relieved of his duty as tour accountant. No financial inaccuracies were noted until he once again was in the position of tour accountant while filling in for the regular employee.
Court documents reveal that among the financial issues that occurred while Goodrich was filling in was a $15,000 cash withdrawal that was entered as having been paid evenly to all five members of Pearl Jam. After one of the band members disputed ever receiving the money, Goodrich maintained that the cash had been used to pay the crew members bonuses – bonuses which the crew say they never received.
When the tour ended in May 2010, management confronted Goodrich regarding the discrepancies. He admitted to having forged the signature of Curtis to take out “loans” of $45,000, which he then repaid.
A financial audit that occurred after Goodrich’s termination led to the Seattle police launching a criminal probe in January of 2011. The investigation resulted in theft charges being filed against him in 2012. He was convicted and sentenced for stealing $380,000 over the four years leading up to his termination in September of 2010.
The thefts were determined by Seattle Police to have cost Curtis Management $566,000 in total – a sum which includes expenses related to the investigation of Goodrich. Prosecutors in King County agreed that if Goodrich could pay the money back to the bank before Friday’s sentencing, they would only seek a prison sentence of six months for the theft. Although he has reimbursed the company for $125,000 of the embezzled funds, Goodrich was not able to pay the entire amount owed prior to his hearing, and therefore received a sentence of one year and two months, which is on the upper end of the recommended sentence for his crime. Due to his status as a first-time offender, his attorney had argued for probation only.
At Friday’s hearing, Goodrich apologized for the “misunderstanding” that had occurred which led him to believe that the money he had embezzled had been loaned to him by Curtis. Goodrich was given two weeks by Superior Court Judge Roger Rogoff to prepare his affairs before reporting back to the Department of Corrections for a formal sentencing hearing. Defending his actions, Rogoff maintained that allowing Goodrich time to prepare for his sentence will give him the best chance to pay full restitution, which he has agreed to do, according to prosecutors.
By Jennifer Pfalz