The curse of showbusiness accounting scams played itself out in a Washington State county court this month as Pearl Jam’s former chief financial officer pleaded guilty to stealing $380,000 from his employers.
Just before Christmas 55-year-old Rickey Goodrich pleaded guilty to six counts of theft from the grunge band that took place while he was the CFO of the band’s company Curtis Inc.
Papers filed by the King’s County district attorney and reproduced in the local Seattle Times detailed multiple transactions in which Goodrich raised payments to settle his wife’s American Express card, which had been used for unauthorised visits to hotels and spas. He also transferred funds to a local winery and spent another $5,765 on a personal insurance policy.
The Seattle Times reported previously that Goodrich had acted for the band as tour accountant in 2005, but was removed from that role due to unaccounted balances of $35,000. He was given another job with the group’s management company.
But when he stepped in as tour accountant in May 2010 new issues arose, including a dispute over $15,000 in “road cash” he withdrew that apparently never made it to the band members or their crew. When the band confronted him, he admitted forging their manager’s signature to pay himself $45,000, which he later repaid.
So far Goodrich has repaid around $125,000 and will be sentenced in February. If he is not able to pay back the outstanding restitution balance of $181,000, he faces up to 14 months in jail, but the prosecutor’s office will suggest a six-month sentence if he pays the money back.
Pearl Jam couldn’t have found a better description for what happened than the final song on their 2006 album, “Inside Job”.
AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.