Home » Graceland’s self-described scammer takes credit for attempted foreclosure sale of Elvis’ h

Graceland’s self-described scammer takes credit for attempted foreclosure sale of Elvis’ h

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CNN
 — 

In yet another twist in the bizarre story of the dubious foreclosure threat against Elvis Presley’s iconic Memphis home, a person purporting to be involved in a scheme to steal Graceland responded to an email from CNN, claiming responsibility for the scam.

“I didn’t win this one. I’ve stole (sic) many identities and received monies, we don’t win all,” wrote the self-proclaimed scammer in a mixture of English and Luganda, a language spoken by more than 5 million people primarily in Uganda, according to the United Nations.

As with all scammers, it’s unclear whether the person who emailed CNN is actually behind the scheme. But they responded to a CNN request for comment sent to an email address associated with Naussany Investments and Private Lending, a company that tried to foreclose on the famous mansion last week.

Graceland was set to go up for auction under the pretext that the late singer’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, who died in 2023, failed to pay back a $3.8 million loan she’d secured from  Naussany Investments before her passing, and had used Graceland as collateral, according to court documents.

But actress Riley Keough, Elvis’ granddaughter and heir, sued to protect the estate from the auction block, alleging fraud and saying Naussany didn’t exist and had no rights to the property.

The foreclosure sale was ultimately blocked, and Naussany Investments dropped its foreclosure efforts.

CNN reached out to the email address listed as the company representative in Keough’s lawsuit for comment. That person said his company had no claims against anyone affiliated with Graceland and directed CNN to a different email address – gregoryenaussanyniplflorida@hotmail.com – supposedly belonging to a person named Gregory Naussany, who responded when contacted by CNN.

Other news outlets, including the New York Times, which first reported on the alleged scammer’s admission Tuesday, received similar messages from the same email address.

A Luganda-speaking native translated and reviewed the email for CNN. When asked whether the self-proclaimed scammer appeared to be a native speaker or was perhaps using a tool like Google Translate to pose as one, the translator found that while the apparent scammer knew the language, their writing style showed they were not entirely fluent.

CNN has been unable to find any evidence to prove the company actually exists.

The phone number listed in court documents was not in service. The business was listed in a court document as being located in Kimberling City, Missouri. But the secretary of state had no record of a business by that name when contacted by CNN.

The Shelby County Registrar told CNN in an email that “Naussany Investments & Private Lending, LLC, does not have any filings in the Office of the Shelby County Register of Deeds pertaining to Graceland/Elvis Presley.”

The self-identified scammer told the New York Times they are based in Nigeria and targeted groups including the dead and elderly. They especially went after victims in Florida and California, using sensitive documents like birth certificates to facilitate their schemes, according to the Times article.

“We use innocents and we steal identity,” said the scammer in an email to CNN.

What would lead a scammer to go after the second most visited residence in the US behind the White House remains unknown.

“We figure out how to steal,” the scammer told the Times. “That’s what we do.”

It was a mistake to target Graceland, said Mark Sunderman, a real estate professor at the University of Memphis.

“Why they went after such a high-profile piece of property, that was just very stupid,” he said. “You know, in terms of Memphis, I can’t think of anything more high profile other than if they tried to go after the Civil Rights Museum.”

Court documents show Naussany Investments offered to settle its claimed debt with the Presley estate for $2.85 million, a reduction of $950,000 from the original loan.  Sunderman believes that quick payoff may have been the scammer’s goal, not a successful foreclosure on Graceland.

“If they had gone through the foreclosure sale, they would have had much, much greater risk to get caught and had less payoff to them in the long run,” he said.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti last Thursday said he was looking into possible fraud involving the matter.

The Shelby County District Attorney did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on any possible criminal case.

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