Prosecutors in New York say they discovered a scheme to sell stolen handwritten lyrics from some of the Eagles' most famous songs ... and now 3 men have been indicted as a result of the investigation.
Here's the deal ... prosecutors say the men were in possession of about 100 pages of Don Henley's handwritten notes and lyrics for the band's "Hotel California" album, with the men allegedly trying to fool auction houses into buying the memorabilia despite them knowing it was stolen.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg says the men fabricated stories about the origin of the documents, and their right to possess them, so they could turn a profit ... even allegedly engaging in a years-long campaign to stop Don from recovering the stolen manuscripts, which are valued at over $1 million.
Prosecutors say the manuscripts were originally stolen back in the 1970s by an author hired to write a biography of the band and then sold to rare books dealer Glenn Horowitz, who in turn sold them to Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski.
The D.A. says when Don learned Inciardi and Kosinski were allegedly trying to sell portions of the manuscripts, he filed police reports and told the men the materials were stolen, demanding their return.
Prosecutors say Inciardi and Kosinski then worked to fabricate ownership records to try and coerce Don into buying back the stolen property. At the same time, the D.A. says the men were trying to sell the manuscripts through Christie's and Sotheby's auction houses.
The D.A. says their office executed search warrants to recover Don's stolen manuscripts from Kosinski's home and Sotheby's ... and a short while later, prosecutors say Horowitz tried to use the death of Eagles founding member Glenn Frey to prevent criminal prosecution by claiming he got the manuscripts from Frey.
The men are each charged with one count of fourth-degree conspiracy. Inciardi and Kosinski are also charged with first-degree criminal possession of stolen property. Horowitz is also charged with first-degree attempted criminal possession of stolen property, plus two counts of second-degree hindering prosecution.
Don's manager, Irving Azoff, tells TMZ ... "This action exposes the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a façade of legitimacy. No one has the right to sell illegally obtained property or profit from the outright theft of irreplaceable pieces of musical history."
Azoff continues, "These handwritten lyrics are an integral part of the legacy Don Henley has created over the course of his 50-plus-year career. We look forward to the return of Don’s property, for him and his family to enjoy and preserve for posterity."