Men indicted after allegedly trying to sell stolen lyrics and notes from ‘Hotel California’ album
Sonia Moghe, CNN
(CNN) — Three men accused of having stolen and attempting to sell handwritten notes and lyrics by the Eagles’ Don Henley have been indicted on multiple charges, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s Office announced Tuesday.
About 100 pages of notes and lyrics for songs including “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid in Town” were among the documents prosecutors said were stolen and worth more than $1 million, according to a news release.
The men, Glenn Horowitz, 66, Craig Inciardi, 58, and Edward Kosinski, 59, were each charged with one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree. Inciardi and Kosinski were also charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree. Horowitz was charged with attempted criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree and two counts of hindering prosecution in the second degree. The three men surrendered to authorities on Tuesday and were released to their attorneys.
The three men’s attorneys released a joint statement to CNN saying the men are innocent.
“The DA’s office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals. We will fight these unjustified charges vigorously,” the statement from attorneys Jonathan Bach, Stacey Richman and Antonia Apps said.
The indictment alleges that between 2012 and 2019, Inciardi and Kosinski had in their possession stolen “developmental lyrics” to songs from the Hotel California album, that the men knew the documents were stolen and tried to sell them.
“These defendants attempted to keep and sell these unique and valuable manuscripts, despite knowing they had no right to do so. They made up stories about the origin of the documents and their right to possess them so they could turn a profit,” Bragg said.
Prosecutors said in a news release that the manuscripts were originally stolen in the late 1970s by an author hired to write a biography of the band, and that the biographer eventually sold the manuscripts in 2005 to Horowitz, who is a rare books dealer, who later allegedly sold the documents to Inciardi and Kosinski. CNN has reached out to each of the men for comment on the accusations.
“When Don Henley learned that Inciardi and Kosinski were trying to sell portions of the manuscripts, he filed police reports, told the defendants that the materials were stolen, and demanded the return of his property,” a news release from prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Inciardi and Kosinski tried to coerce Henley to buy back the manuscripts while simultaneously trying to sell them through Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses. The district attorney’s office executed a series of search warrants starting in December 2016 and retrieved the manuscripts from Sotheby’s and Kosinski’s home in New Jersey. CNN has reached out to Sotheby’s for comment.
The indictment shows emails between the men that discussed how they would identify the source of the manuscripts to others. In a February 22, 2017 email, after Eagles member Glenn Frey had died, Horowitz allegedly wrote that identifying Frey as the source of the manuscripts “would make this go away once and for all.”
A December 2016 email allegedly from Kosinski to a Sotheby’s employee said, “Don Henley still wants this back” and asked, “Please do not tell any potential bidders that (Henley’s) attorneys are inquiring about the lyrics.”
The men are expected to have a hearing on their case on October 4.
Henley’s manager released a statement Wednesday thanking the district attorney and saying the musician hopes to get the items back.
“This action exposes the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy,” read the statement from manager Irving Azoff. “No one has the right to sell illegally obtained property or profit from the outright theft of irreplaceable pieces of musical history. These handwritten lyrics are an integral part of the legacy Don Henley has created over the course of his 50-plus-year career.”