NEW YORK: Manhattan's district attorney on Tuesday charged three people with conspiring to illegally possess and sell some 100 pages of handwritten notes and lyrics for the Eagles album 'Hotel California.'
Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski allegedly knew the documents - collectively valued at over $1 million - were stolen, but conspired to sell them anyway.
According to court documents, the men manufactured false provenance and lied to auction houses, potential buyers and law enforcement about how they acquired the notes by Don Henley, which included lyrics to the hits 'Hotel California; and 'Life in the Fast Lane.'
A biographer for the band originally stole the manuscripts in the late 1970s, according to the legal filing, eventually selling them to Horowitz, who in turn sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.
Court documents say Eagles founding-member Henley filed police reports upon learning that Inciardi and Kosinski had the pages, allegations the duo fought for years.
"New York is a world-class hub for art and culture, and those who deal cultural artifacts must scrupulously follow the law," said Manhattan prosecutor Alvin Bragg.
"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."
Inciardi, 58, is an "employee with curator responsibilities" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, the museum confirmed to AFP.
"When we became aware of this matter, we suspended the employee and retained experienced outside counsel to conduct an internal investigation," the Rock Hall said in a statement, insisting it was not named in the investigation.
Attorneys for the men vowed to "fight these unjustified charges vigorously."
"The DA's office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals," they wrote in a statement given to AFP.
The men pleaded not guilty and were released on their own recognizance.