Three men charged in stolen ‘Hotel California’ manuscripts case

They are accused of seeking to sell a hundred pages of handwritten notes from the Eagles album Hotel Californiawhich they knew had been stolen.

Three men, accused of obtaining and seeking to sell about 100 pages of handwritten notes from the Eagles album, Hotel Californiawhich they knew had been stolen, were charged in New York on Tuesday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said.

Craig Inciardi, 58, Edward Kosinski, 59, were charged in particular for possession of stolen criminal property, while Glenn Horowitz, 66, was charged on a provisional basis. All three men have pleaded not guilty.

With the development of the collectors’ market, certain pieces that belonged to music or sports stars are selling for more and more.

Documents revealed at more than a million dollars

The hundred pages of notes and lyrics written by Don Henley, one of the founders of the Eagles, for the album Hotel Californiaincluding those of the eponymous song which became a hit, or Life at high speedare estimated at more than a million dollars, writes the prosecutor Alvin Bragg in his press release.

“Although they knew the documents were stolen,” the three defendants “attempted to sell the manuscripts, fabricated false provenance documents, and lied to auction houses, potential buyers, and law enforcement officials. ‘Order on the origin of the documents,’ he says.

One of the accused, Craig Inciardi, is an employee “with curatorial responsibilities” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland, Ohio, the institution confirmed to AFP. “When we became aware of this case, we suspended the employee and called in an experienced outside lawyer to conduct an internal investigation,” added the Rock Hall, ensuring that it was not cited in the investigation file.

“Wrongful Accusations”

The case dates back to the late 1970s, when an author, hired by the Californian rock band to write his biography, steals the notes. According to the Manhattan prosecutor’s office, he ended up selling them in 2005 to Horowitz, a rare book dealer, who then sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.

Don Henley had tried in vain to recover the documents when he learned that the two men had possession of them. But the latter are accused of having fabricated false documents attesting to a legal provenance to force Henley to buy them back at a high price.

The defendants’ lawyers, on the contrary, spoke of “unjustified accusations”, which they intend to “fight vigorously”. “The prosecutor’s office sees crimes where there are none and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of respected professionals,” they wrote in a statement sent to AFP.