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Identity thief claims to be behind Graceland foreclosure attempt: report

A Nigerian fraudster has claimed responsibility for a scheme to steal Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion and sell it at auction, according to a report.


  • May 28 2024
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An identity thief has purportedly come forward and claimed responsibility for the audacious scheme to gain control of Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion and sell it at auction, according to a report by The New York Times. 

The publication reported that a person it has been corresponding with via email admitted to being the ringleader of the plot.

The plot reportedly involved a crew of other fraudsters and ultimately failed in court last week but is still shrouded in mystery.

According to the Times, the purported fraudster, who claims to be from Nigeria, described the foreclosure effort as a scam and not a legitimate attempt to collect on a debt. 

GRACELAND IS 'PART OF OUR HISTORY,' SHOULD STAY IN PRESLEY FAMILY, VISITORS SAY

Elvis Presley and his Graceland mansion

Elvis Presley, left, and his Graceland mansion, right. A new report claims a person has admitted to being behind the plan to steal Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion and sell it at auction. (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images, left, and Reuters)

The ringleader told the outlet his crew preys on the dead, the unsuspecting and the elderly, especially those from Florida and California. They use birth certificates and other documents to discover personal information to aid in their illicit schemes to steal property.

"We figure out how to steal," the alleged thief said. "That’s what we do." 

According to the Times, the email address it was corresponding with matches an email address used in court documents by Naussany Investments and Private Lending, the company behind the attempt to foreclose on the property.

Naussany Investments and Private Lending claimed Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ only child, took out a $3.8 million loan with the firm and used Graceland in Tennessee as collateral. Naussany claimed Lisa Marie never paid that money back before she died last year. So, the company attempted to recoup the alleged losses by auctioning the property.

But Elvis’ granddaughter, Riley Keough, the sole heir to the property, claimed the loan agreement was a scam and asked a court for an injunction Wednesday to stop the sale.

Keough maintains Naussany was using forged documents and a fake shell company to make its claims. The injunction was granted and then, in another plot twist, Naussany withdrew its claims after the court hearing.

GRACELAND AUCTION HALTED AFTER ELVIS PRESLEY GRANDDAUGHTER'S PUSH FOR INJUNCTION

Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough wear black ensembles at handprint ceremony in Hollywood

Lisa Marie Presley, left Priscilla Presley, center, and Riley Keough, right. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin)

According to the Times, the email writer admitted the group turned its attention to Graceland as far back as September, eight months after Lisa Marie Presley’s death. Naussany Investments filed papers in a California probate court posting what it said was Lisa Marie Presley’s 2018 debt. The filing included a deed of trust with a signature it claimed was Lisa Marie Presley’s, with Graceland put forward as collateral.

In emails to the family’s lawyers, the company claimed it would accept a reduced sum of $2.8 million to satisfy the loan before filing a collection claim in a Los Angeles court, the Daily Mail reports. 

Naussany Investments then took out an advertisement in a Memphis newspaper, giving notice that it planned to auction Graceland in a foreclosure attempt. 

But Keough did not believe her mother took out the loan, successfully challenging it in court Wednesday and securing an injunction.

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Attorney Jeffrey Germany, who represents Keough, filed a complaint with the court regarding the authenticity of the purported deed of trust. Germany submitted an affidavit that says the purported notary did not notarize the signature of Lisa Marie on the purported deed of trust and had never met Lisa Marie Presley.

The Times says it sought clarification on specific issues, but the email writer replied, "You don’t have to understand," while taking credit for the crew’s alleged success in other cases.

"I am the one who creates trouble," the writer said in his first email Friday. The Times reports that the emailer claimed to be based in Nigeria but wrote in Luganda, a Bantu language spoken in Uganda, and broken English. To add more mystery to the case, the court filings appear to have been written in fluent English. 

"Yo client dont have nothing to worries," the person wrote. "win fir her." Then the writer added: "She beat me at my own game."

Elvis Presley in front of Graceland and Riley Keough split

The Graceland mansion with Elvis Presley, left, and Riley Keough, right. A new report claims a person has admitted to being behind the plan to steal Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion and sell it off at auction. (Getty Images)

The case still has many unanswered questions, including whether Naussany Investments and Private Lending exist. For instance, the Times reports that phone numbers listed in court documents for the company are not in service, while addresses listed by the company are those of post offices.

Naussany Investments' attempt to foreclose on Graceland is under investigation by Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti. 

"I have asked my lawyers to look into this matter, determine the full extent of any misconduct that may have occurred and identify what we can do to protect both Elvis Presley’s heirs and anyone else who may be similarly threatened," Skrmetti said in a statement. 

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