The band was smack in the middle of a round-robin scam, according to the New York Observer and scads of other Hollywood-watching magazines, conducted by Giacchetto whereby the money manager would borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, from unwitting clients to pay back the Hollywood elite like Mike Ovitz, Ben Stiller, Lauren Holley, Rick Yorn, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire that Giacchetto enlisted as targets of the scam as well.
In March 1999, Giacchetto allegedly took $556,521 from Rick Yorn, Michael Ovitz‘s young partner at Artists Management Group, to pay What’s Love Got To Do With It director Brian Gibson $476,000. Then, on March 19, 1999, Mr. Giacchetto allegedly took $500,000 from Alanis Morisette’s manager Scott Welch to pay Phish manager John Paluska $258,978.00; in August, he took $450,000 from Mr. Ovitz to pay his company’s payroll, then cut a check to hotelier Andre Balazs for $11,000.
Then, in September 1999, Mr. Giacchetto went on a bit of a tear. He allegedly siphoned $250,000 from Ben Stiller, $250,000 from then- Talk editor David Kuhn, $150,000 from actor Tobey Maguire, and $100,000 from Lauren Holley to send Mr. Yorn $737,000, Mr. Ovitz $150,000, Razorfish Web site design firm co-founder Craig Kanarick $21,000, and artist George Condo $75,000.
There was even a little left over the following month to mail E Street Band guitarist and Sopranos star Stevie Van Zandt $100,000. Then in November, he allegedly took $100,000 from art dealer Marianne Boesky and sent it right off to bony actor Tim Roth. One hundred thousand dollars from artist David Salle’s account allegedly went toward paying Alanis Morissette $3,600; a half million dollars of Phish’s retirement fund repaid Ben Stiller the quarter million he was missing. In January 2000, the $250,000 of a gentleman named Gordon P. Baird, Jr. allegedly helped pay producer Stacy Sher $251,033.
Phish disbanded in 2004.
Not sure whether Phish ever saw any money again. Maybe that’s why they’re re-uniting.