Tennessee Attorney General Investigates Fraud Claims in Graceland Sale Attempt

 May 25, 2024

The attempt to auction the iconic Graceland mansion, once home to rock and roll legend Elvis Presley, has been met with legal and investigative challenges.

The Associated Press reported that Tennessee's attorney general is investigating a company's effort to sell Elvis Presley's home, Graceland, through a foreclosure auction.

Riley Keough, Elvis Presley's granddaughter, initiated a lawsuit asserting that Naussany Investments and Private Lending falsely claimed Graceland as collateral for a defaulted loan. This action emphasized the controversial nature of the auction process.

The Legal Battle Over Graceland

Jonathan Skrmetti, the Attorney General of Tennessee, stressed Graceland's historical and cultural significance in his announcement to explore the alleged fraudulent activities surrounding this attempted sale. “My office has fought fraud against homeowners for decades, and there is no home in Tennessee more beloved than Graceland,” stated Skrmetti.

Shelby County Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins suspended the halted auction, originally scheduled for Thursday. This decision came just a day before the planned event after serious questions regarding the legitimacy of the seller's claims surfaced.

Despite Naussany Investments' insistence on the presence of a debt secured by Graceland, legal representatives for Riley Keough rebuffed these claims. “Lisa Marie Presley never borrowed money from Naussany Investments and never gave a deed of trust to Naussany Investments,” said Keough’s lawyer.

Questionable Actions by Naussany Investments

There is a mounting suspicion about the authenticity of documents provided by Naussany Investments. Notably, Kimberly Philbrick, a notary, has disavowed any involvement in the alleged notarization for Lisa Marie Presley, stating she never met her nor notarized any documents for her.

Further adding to the contention, Naussany Investments, though initially challenging the allegations, ultimately announced they would no longer pursue the auction. Their statement noted, “Legal action would have to be filed in multiple states,” indicating the complex legal entanglements stemming from the case.

Naussany Investments appears to lack a physical corporate presence, as their addresses are linked to post office locations and do not appear in state databases of registered corporations. This has heightened scrutiny over their operations and claims.

Continuous Operation of Graceland

Despite the tumultuous developments, Elvis Presley Enterprises reassures the public of Graceland's ongoing operations. “Graceland will continue to operate as it has for the past 42 years, ensuring that Elvis fans from around the world can continue to have the best in class experience when visiting his iconic home,” the company confirmed.

Recent public notices hinted at a looming $3.8 million debt from a 2018 loan involving the Promenade Trust, which controls Graceland. This revelation aligns with the contested claims of Naussany Investments regarding the defaulted loan.

The legal conflict has received significant public and media attention, highlighting Elvis Presley's legacy and the alleged exploitation of his estate. Darrell Castle, a local attorney not involved in the case, echoed community sentiment about the necessity of thorough investigations: "That’s what should happen. It’s that important. Somebody with investigative authority needs to look into it and get to the bottom of it."

As the Tennessee legal system continues to dissect these allegations, the eyes of Elvis fans worldwide remain fixated on Memphis, hopeful for the preservation of Graceland as a landmark free from controversy. Though limited, the simultaneous involvement of state authorities underscores the profound implications of this case affecting Tennessee's heritage and cultural history.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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