NEW YORK (PIX11) – Three men are tied to a scheme to auction off stolen handwritten lyric manuscripts from the Eagles’ “Hotel California” album valued at more than $1 million, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced in an indictment Tuesday.
Glenn Horowitz, 66, Craig Inciardi, 58, and Edward Kosinski, 59, allegedly possessed around 100 pages of Don Henley’s handwritten notes and lyrics for Eagles songs including “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid in Town.”
“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,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.
The manuscripts were originally stolen from Henley in the late 1970s by an author who was hired to write a biography about the Eagles, prosecutors said. The biographer eventually sold the manuscripts in 2005 to Horowitz, a rare books dealer in New York City, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Horowitz then allegedly sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.
Horowitz and Inciardi allegedly made up a fake story about how they came into possession of the manuscripts. Inciardi and Kosinski then tried to get Henley to buy them back between 2012 and 2017. However, Henley told them the manuscripts were stolen and demanded they return them, but Inciardi and Kosinski allegedly refused.
Inciardi and Kosinski also tried to sell the manuscripts at Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses, lying to auctioneers about how they got the manuscripts, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. When Henley found out that Inciardi and Kosinski were trying to sell portions of the manuscripts, he filed police reports, authorities said.
In 2016, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office executed a series of search warrants and retrieved Henley’s manuscripts from the Sotheby’s auction house and from Kosinski’s home in New Jersey. Shortly after, Horowitz allegedly tried to use the recent death of founding Eagles member Glenn Frey to avoid being prosecuted, by claiming that Frey was how they came in possession of the manuscripts.
In an email, Horowitz said that “[Frey] alas, is dead and identifying him as the source would make this go away once and for all,” according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Inciardi, of Brooklyn, and Kosinski, of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, are both charged with conspiracy and criminal possession of stolen property. Horowitz is charged with conspiracy, attempted criminal possession of stolen property and two counts of hindering prosecution.
The attorneys representing Horowitz, Inciardi and Kosinski denied the criminal allegations of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, calling the charges “unjustified.”
“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. These men are innocent,” a joint statement from attorneys Jonathan Bach, Stacey Richman and Antonia Apps said.