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3 charged in scheme to sell stolen ‘Hotel California’ lyrics

A rock memorabilia dealer and two other men were charged Tuesday with conspiring to sell allegedly illegal, handwritten lyrics to the classic rock juggernaut “Hotel California” and other Eagles hits. Prosecutors said the trio lied to auction houses and buyers about the manuscripts’ unclear chain of provenance, instructing the person who provided the material on what to say. Meanwhile, the men tried to block Eagles co-founder Don Henley’s efforts to retrieve the items, according to prosecutors. Attorney Alvin Bragg said. Through their attorneys, rock auctioneer Edward Kosinski and co-defendants Glenn Horowitz and Craig Inciardi have pleaded not guilty to charges including conspiracy and criminal possession of stolen property. They were released without bail. Their attorneys insist the men are innocent.” The DA’s office is alleging a crime when it doesn’t exist and unfairly tarnishing the reputations of respected professionals,” defense attorneys Antonia Apps, Jonathan Bach and Stacey Richman said in a statement vowing to ” fight these unjustified charges. 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 investigating the case, the DA hasn’t “included a single factual allegation in the indictment that showed my client did anything wrong,” she said in a statement. The trove of documents included Henley’s notes and lyrics about “Hotel California ” and two other singles from this self-titled, hit album: “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid In Town”. Prosecutors valued the material at more than $1 million. The writings are “irreplaceable pieces of musical history” and “an integral part of the legacy Don Henley created during his 50-plus year career,” said longtime Eagles manager Irving Azoff. in a statement. He thanked prosecutors for prosecuting a case that reveals “the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legality.” rock, with one of the most memorable guitar solos of the era that closes a musical story you are lured into a shiny, mysterious hotel where “you can see it whenever you want, but you can never leave”. Theories about its meaning abound. Henley has said this is an exaggeration and a dark side of the American dream. The Grammy-winning album has sold more than 26 million copies since its release in 1976, making it one of the best-selling albums in history. According to prosecutors and an indictment, Horowitz bought the documents around 2005 from an author who worked on an unpublished book about the Eagles in the late 1970s. The author, who is not named in the indictment, gave various explanations to Horowitz over the years about the origin of the documents. In an email included in the indictment, the author says Henley’s assistant sent them from the musician’s home in Malibu, California after the author picked them. In another, the writer found them dumped in a dressing room backstage at an Eagles concert. in another, someone who worked for the band gave them to him. “It was about 35 years ago and my memory is hazy!” the author said in a 2012 email. By then, Kosinski and Inciardi had purchased the documents from Horowitz. Kosinski had listed them for sale on his online auction site, and inquiries into their provenance were looming. In subsequent emails, Horowitz and Inciardi worked to flesh out the author’s “explanation” in communication — ultimately, an April 2012 email in which he said he did not remember who gave him the documents. Kosinski sent it to Henley’s attorney, according to the indictment. Later that month, Kosinski sold some lyrics of “Hotel California” to Henley for $8,500, according to the indictment. Inciardi and Kosinski then tried to sell more of the Eagles’ documents to other potential buyers through the auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and also offered to sell some to Henley, according to the indictment. By 2017, with questions from not only Henley’s lawyers but also the district attorney’s office, Horowitz asked the writer if he had gotten the materials from another Eagles founding member, Glenn Frey, the indictment said. Frey had died the previous year. “Once you identify GF as the source of the tablet, you and I will be out of this picture for good,” Horowitz wrote in a follow-up email. The author then provided a note to that effect, according to the indictment.

A rock memorabilia dealer and two other men were charged Tuesday with conspiring to sell allegedly illegally handwritten lyrics to the classic rock juggernaut “Hotel California” and other Eagles hits.

Prosecutors said the trio lied to auction houses and buyers about the manuscripts’ unclear chain of provenance, instructing the person who provided the material on what to say. Meanwhile, the men tried to block efforts by Eagles co-founder Don Henley to reclaim the items, according to prosecutors.

“They made up stories about the origin of the documents and their right to possess them so they could make a profit,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Through their attorneys, auctioneer Edward Kosinski and co-defendants Glenn Horowitz and Craig Inciardi have pleaded not guilty to charges including conspiracy and criminal possession of stolen property. They were released without bail.

Their lawyers insist the men are innocent.

“The DA’s office is alleging criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishing the reputations of respected professionals,” defense attorneys Antonia Apps, Jonathan Bach and Stacey Richman said in a statement vowing to “vigorously fight these unwarranted charges.”

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 the property.

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

The treasure trove of documents included Henley’s liner notes and lyrics for “Hotel California” and two other singles from that blockbuster album of the same name: “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid In Town.” Prosecutors valued the material at more than $1 million.

The writings are “irreplaceable pieces of musical history” and “an integral part of the legacy Don Henley created during his 50-plus year career,” longtime Eagles manager Irving Azoff said in a statement.

He thanked prosecutors for pursuing a case that reveals “the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legality.”

The chart-topping, Grammy-winning single “Hotel California” is a touchstone of 1970s rock, with one of the era’s most memorable guitar solos capping off a musical tale of being swept away to a glitzy, mysterious hotel where ” you can see whenever you want, but you can never leave.” Theories about its meaning abound. Henley has said it’s an exaggeration and a dark side of the American dream.

The Grammy-winning album has sold more than 26 million copies since its release in 1976, making it one of the best-selling albums in history.

According to prosecutors and an indictment, Horowitz bought the documents around 2005 from an author who worked on an unpublished book about the Eagles in the late 1970s.

The author, who is not named in the indictment, gave various explanations to Horowitz over the years about the origin of the documents.

In an email included in the indictment, the author says Henley’s assistant sent them from the musician’s home in Malibu, California after the author picked them. In another, the writer found them dumped in a dressing room backstage at an Eagles concert. in another, someone who worked for the band gave them to him.

“It was about 35 years ago and my memory is hazy!” the author said in a 2012 email.

By then, Kosinski and Inciardi had purchased the documents from Horowitz. Kosinski had listed them for sale on his online auction site, and inquiries into their provenance were looming.

In subsequent emails, Horowitz and Inciardi worked to flesh out the author’s “explanation” in communication — ultimately, an April 2012 email in which he said he did not remember who gave him the documents. Kosinski sent it to Henley’s attorney, according to the indictment.

Later that month, Kosinski sold some lyrics of “Hotel California” to Henley for $8,500, according to the indictment.

Inciardi and Kosinski then tried to sell more of the Eagles’ documents to other potential buyers through the auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and also offered to sell some to Henley, according to the indictment.

By 2017, with questions from not only Henley’s lawyers but also the district attorney’s office, Horowitz asked the writer if he had gotten the materials from another Eagles founding member, Glenn Frey, the indictment said. Frey had died the previous year.

“Once you identify GF as the source of the tablet, you and I will be out of this picture for good,” Horowitz wrote in a follow-up email.

The author then provided a note to that effect, according to the indictment.

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