10/1/2014

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Ex-Pearl Jam executive sentenced to prison for bilking band

Ex-Pearl Jam executive sentenced to prison for bilking band
FILE -- Pearl Jam.
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SEATTLE -- A former executive with Pearl Jam caught after bilking the band for years was sentenced Friday to 14 months in prison.

Having pleaded guilty to theft charges in December, Rickey Charles Goodrich used his position as chief financial officer at Pearl Jam's management company, Curtis Management, to steal $380,000 in the four years before he was fired in September 2010.

Seattle Police determined Goodrich's thefts cost the management company $566,000, including investigative expenses. Goodrich, a 55-year-old resident of Novato, Calif., admitted to owing his former employer hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Goodrich pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree theft. King County prosecutors were prepared to ask that Goodrich be sentenced to six months in jail, if he paid back the band prior to Friday's hearing. He failed to do so.

Initially facing 33 theft charges, Goodrich transferred money from company accounts to pay his debts. He also used band credit cards to pay for personal expenses, including family vacations and wine.

Goodrich was hired by Pearl Jam Touring Co. in 2005 as the band's accountant and financial officer. He was hired on at Curtis Inc. the following year, and assumed control over all financial matters related to Pearl Jam's tours.

Concerned about Goodrich's management of various funds, the band's manager conducted a review of "cash flow issues" at the touring company and Ten Club -- Pearl Jam's fan club, which Goodrich also had a hand in managing -- that had cropped up by late 2009.

Investigators hired by the band's manager found Goodrich claimed to have paid thousands of dollars to band members and crew that were largely unaccounted for. Investigators ultimately identified several large, suspicious wire transfers from the management company initiated by Goodrich, which went to pay his personal debts.

Confronted by investigators, Goodrich initially claimed to have cleared the "loans" with his supervisor but later repaid $55,000 to the company. Reviews conducted by the band's investigators are alleged to have shown Goodrich also charged $134,000 in purchases to the company credit card.

Goodrich is expected to report to the Department of Corrections early in March. He was sentenced by King County Superior Court Judge Roger Rogoff .
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