‘Hotel California’: 3 people charged with trying to sell stolen, handwritten lyrics from Eagles album

A group of three men from New York and New Jersey were charged Tuesday with trying to sell the stolen, handwritten lyrics to the Eagles rock classic “Hotel California.”

Despite knowing that the 100-page notes written by Eagles founder Don Henley had been stolen, the trio attempted to sell the papers and lied to auction houses, potential buyers and the police about their origin, said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The manuscripts, stolen in the 1970s, are valued at more than a million dollars.

“These defendants attempted to preserve and sell these unique and valuable manuscripts, knowing they had no right to do so,” Bragg said. “They made up stories about where the documents came from and their right to own them so they could profit from them.”

Craig Inciardi of New York and Edward Kosinski of New Jersey are charged with conspiracy and criminal possession of stolen property. Glenn Horowitz of New York is facing one count of conspiracy, one count of attempted criminal possession of stolen property and two counts of obstructing prosecution.

Eagles, Don Henley, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Thursday, March 24, 2022. (Photo by John Swider)

Through their attorneys, the group pleaded not guilty to the charges. They were released on bail, according to the Associated Press.

According to Bragg, the lyrics to songs such as “Hotel California”, “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid In Town” were stolen by a writer hired to write an autobiography of the Eagles. In 2005, the author sold the papers to Horowitz, who in turn sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.

Henley learned that the latter couple were trying to sell parts of the lyrics and he demanded their return, filing police reports and telling the defendants that the papers had been stolen more than three decades before. Prosecutors said the group unlawfully attempted to thwart the Eagles member’s efforts to recover the stolen property.

Lawyers for the group say the men are innocent.

“The DA’s office alleges crime where there is none and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of respected professionals,” defense attorneys Antonia Apps, Jonathan Bach and Stacey Richman said in a statement vowing to “vigorously fight against these unwarranted accusations”.

Apps, who represents Kosinski, later called the charges “the weakest criminal case I’ve seen in my entire career,” calling it a “civil dispute” over property.

“Despite six years of investigation into the case, the prosecutor has not included a single factual allegation in the indictment showing that my client did anything wrong,” she said in a statement. communicated.

Bragg said Horowitz and Inciardi attempted to fabricate the origin of the handwritten lyrics. Meanwhile, Inciardi and Kosinski attempted to coerce Henley into buying the documents, while simultaneously attempting to sell them through Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses.

When Eagles member Glenn Frey died in 2016, Horowitz tried to claim that Frey started the newspapers. According to prosecutors, he wrote in an email:[Frey] alas, is dead and identifying him as the source would make that go away once and for all.

“New York is a world-class hub for art and culture, and those selling cultural artifacts must strictly follow the law,” Bragg said. “There is no place for those who would seek to ignore basic expectations of fair dealing and undermine public trust in our cultural commerce for their own ends.

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Nicholas E. Crittendon