3 charged in connection with scheme to sell stolen ‘Hotel California’ tickets
NEW YORK (AP) — Three people were charged Tuesday in an alleged conspiracy involving the handwritten lyrics of classic rock juggernaut “Hotel California” and other Eagles hits.
Prosecutors said the defendants, even though they knew the material was stolen, lied to auction houses and buyers about the origin of the manuscripts.
An indictment filed in Manhattan state court accuses Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski of conspiring to possess Don Henley’s notes and lyrics for songs that also included ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ and “New Kid In Town”, all valued at over $1 million.
The men pleaded not guilty through their attorneys at arraignment. They were released without bail.
“The district attorney’s office is alleging crime where there is none and unfairly tarnishing the reputations of highly respected professionals,” the attorneys said in a statement. “We will vigorously fight these unwarranted accusations. These men are innocent.
In a statement, the Eagles thanked prosecutors for bringing a case that exposes “the truth about musical memorabilia sales of highly personal stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy.”
He called the items “an integral part of the legacy that Don Henley has created over his 50+ year career” which must be returned “so that he and his family can enjoy and preserve them for posterity.” .
According to court documents, an author hired to write a biography of the group originally stole the manuscripts in the late 1970s. The documents detail email correspondence between the defendants and a person claiming to have found the material dumped there. decades in a backstage box at an Eagles concert.
“That was about 35 years ago and my memory is hazy!” the person wrote.
Prosecutors say that between 2012 and 2017, the defendants tried to convince Henley to buy back the stolen manuscripts, while seeking to sell them to other potential buyers through Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses.
At one point, Horowitz attempted to claim the source of the property was fellow Eagles founding member Glenn Frey after Frey’s death in 2016, prosecutors said. In an email, he wrote that Frey “alas, is dead and identifying him as the source would make this go away once and for all,” they alleged.
Authorities armed with search warrants eventually recovered the documents from Sotheby’s and Kosinski’s home in New Jersey.
The self-titled album “Hotel California” and its chart-topping title track both won Grammy Awards. The album has sold over 26 million copies since its release in 1976, making it one of the best-selling albums in history.
Associated Press writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.
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