Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Curator Arrested, Charged With Conspiracy to Sell $1M of Stolen Eagles Lyrics + Notes
Craig Inciardi, a curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is one of three men being charged with a conspiracy to allegedly sell more than $1 million worth of stolen lyrics and handwritten notes by Eagles drummer and co-vocalist Don Henley.
Glenn Horowitz and Edward Kosinski are also accused, per a report by Rolling Stone. Attorneys Antonia Apps, Jonathan Bach and Stacey Richman said (via SF Gate), "The DA’s office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals," and that they will "fight these unjustified charges vigorously."
In the 1970s, a trove of documents belonging to Henley are said to have been stolen by a biographer, who then made a deal in 2005 which resulted in Horowitz taking possession of them. Among the roughly 100 pages of material are handwritten notes and lyrics to "Hotel California," "Life in the Fast Lane" and "New Kid in Town," which the trio are accused of attempting to find find buyers for.
Once Horowitz allegedly obtained these documents, he is said to have then welcomed Inciardi and Kosinski as potential dealers as they collectively sought to sell the documents to auction houses such as Sotheby's and Christie's. The former previously employed Inciardi prior to him joining the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame staff, as noted by UCR.
It has also been alleged that the trio even tried to "coerce" Henley into buying his own documents back from them.
"This action exposes the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy. No one has the right to sell illegally obtained property or profit from the outright theft of irreplaceable pieces of musical history. These handwritten lyrics are an integral part of the legacy Don Henley has created over the course of his 50-plus-year career," Eagles manager Irving Azoff told Rolling Stone.
The New York Districting Attorney's office launched an investigation into the reportedly stolen goods in 2016 after the death of Eagles icon Glenn Frey as they had suspected that Horowitz was attempting to attach Frey's name to the documents instead of Henley's, which would likely have caused the case to disintegrate.
Inciardi, Horowitz and Kosinski have all been charged with one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree, which could result in up to four years of jail time. Additionally, a charge of first-degree attempted criminal possession of stolen property and two counts of hindering prosecution have been levied against Horowitz while Inciardi and Kosinski are looking at first degree counts of criminal possession as well.
Rolling Stone also states that Inciardi has been suspended from his role at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and that President and CEO Joel Peresman intends to keep Inciardi on leave until the legal matter has been resolved and his reinstatement hinges on the outcome of the case.
"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," declared Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, in part.
Defense attorney Apps claimed, "Despite six years of investigating the case, the DA hasn’t included a single factual allegation in the indictment showing that my client did anything wrong."