Band sings blues after road manager steals $50,000

— File photo by Ralph Stewart

Patrick A. Joyce, road manager for the popular Island-based band Sultans of Swing, has been accused of stealing more than $50,000 from the band. Oak Bluffs police said that Mr. Joyce paid himself for work he didn’t do, made unauthorized charges to the band’s credit card, and forged checks.

Mr. Joyce, 27, of Edgartown, was arraigned March 29 in Edgartown District Court on a charge of larceny by a scheme, 21 charges of forgery, and 21 charges of cashing false checks.

As road manager for the band, Mr. Joyce’s duties included booking hotels, transportation, and other necessities while the Sultans of Swing were on the road, band leader Jerry Bennett told police. Mr. Joyce had access to the band’s credit and debit cards, company checks, and the company’s accounting system.

Mr. Joyce began working for the musical group in January 2011.

Soon after, a complete check of the books revealed 270 improper transactions. Mr. Bennett confronted Mr. Joyce about the charges, and he admitted the theft, according to the police report.

“Mr. Bennett reported that Joyce was remorseful and agreed to ‘work off’ the money that was stolen,” Oak Bluffs police officer James Morse wrote in his report. “From June 11, 2012 through November 7, 2012 Joyce rendered services to the company and was credited against what he had admitted stealing. After November 7, 2012, Joyce stopped returning calls to Mr. Bennett.”

Mr. Bennett’s accountant discovered suspicious charges, including charges to a Florida escort service, on the band’s financial statements.

Mr. Bennett reported the thefts to police on February 4, 2013. There is currently $35,859 outstanding.

Mr. Joyce did not respond to police requests to interview him, but he did appear in court after police filed a criminal complaint.

Mr. Joyce was released on personal recognizance after his arraignment.