Three men were arraigned Tuesday on charges they conspired to illegally possess and sell 100 pages of notes and lyrics from the Eagles album “Hotel California,” including Don Henley’s lyrics to the songs “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and ” New Kid In Town.”
A band biographer allegedly stole the handwritten manuscripts in the 1970s and, in 2005, sold them to Glenn Horowitz, a rare books dealer and one of the three people charged Tuesday.
Horowitz then sold them to Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
The charges include conspiracy, criminal possession of stolen property and preventing prosecution.
“New York is a world-class hub for art and culture, and those who deal with cultural artifacts must scrupulously follow the law. There is no room for those who would seek to ignore the basic expectations of fair dealing and undermine the public’s confidence and trust in our cultural trade for their own ends,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.
Henley filed police reports upon learning that Inciardi and Kosinski were trying to sell parts of the manuscripts. He also told them the materials were stolen and demanded they return his property.
Prosecutors say the defendants responded by engaging in a yearslong campaign to prevent Henley from retrieving his manuscripts.
In a joint statement, the lawyers representing the three men — Jonathan Bach (representing Horowitz), Stacey Richman (representing Inciardi) and Antonia Apps (representing Kosinski) — said they would fight the charges.
“The DA’s office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly camouflages the reputations of well-respected professionals,” the lawyers said. “We will fight these unjustified charges vigorously. These men are innocent.”
The men also allegedly sought to sell the manuscripts through Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses and requested that Sotheby’s hide Henley’s claims from potential buyers prior to offering the manuscripts for sale at public auction in 2016.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office retrieved Henley’s stolen manuscripts from Sotheby’s and from Kosinski’s New Jersey residence, including 84 pages of songs from the album “Hotel California.”
Horowitz allegedly attempted to exploit the 2016 death of founding Eagles member Glenn Frey to prevent criminal prosecution, claiming the material originated from Frey.
“[Frey] alas, is dead and identifying him as the source would make this go away once and for all,” the indictment quoted an email allegedly from Horowitz as saying.