Elvis Graceland Foreclosure Orchestrated By Nigerian Scammer

Elvis Presley’s iconic Graceland estate faces foreclosure in a saga allegedly orchestrated by a Nigerian scammer. The controversy, involving Naussany Investments & Private Lending LLC, prompts scrutiny and legal action.

Elvis Graceland Foreclosure Orchestrated By Nigerian Scammer 1

The author claimed to be an identity thief, a mastermind on the dark web who had a network of “worms” positioned all across the country.

Elvis Graceland Foreclosure Orchestrated By Nigerian Scammer 2
“I had fun figuring this one out and it didn’t succeed very well,” wrote a person who replied to emailed questions from The New York Times about the attempted sale of Graceland. Brandon Dill/Associated Press

He said in an email to The New York Times that his ring preyed on the old, the dead, and the gullible, particularly those from Florida and California. They did this by obtaining personal information that aided in their schemes through birth certificates and other documents.

“We figure out how to steal,” he said. “That’s what we do.”

The writer stated that the gang had recently focused on a significant target: Lisa Marie Presley’s estate. Last week, there was a danger that Graceland would be sold by an unidentified business, Naussany Investments & Private Lending LLC, through foreclosure.

People who make absurd allegations frequently send unsolicited emails to media outlets. However, Naussany provided an email address in a legal file to a Tennessee court overseeing the foreclosure case, and this email appeared on Friday in response to one sent by The Times to that same email address.

The Times mentioned the business’s assertion in an email that Ms. Presley had taken out a $3.8 million loan from them, using Graceland as security. The writer who was responding to emails The Times had written to characterized the foreclosure attempt as a hoax rather than a legal attempt to collect a debt.

The email writer added, “I had fun figuring this one out and it didn’t succeed very well.” He claimed to be based in Nigeria and to have written the email in Ugandan Bantu Luganda. However, the email address-containing filing was faxed from a toll-free number intended for North American use; it was a part of the paperwork that was sent to the Chancery Court in Shelby County, Tennessee, where the foreclosure case is currently continuing.

The Naussany firm has been a persistent mystery ever since it was revealed last week that a corporation was attempting to sell Graceland, Elvis Presley’s former home and a popular tourist destination in Memphis. It is hard to locate any official documents proving the company’s existence. The company’s given phone numbers in court filings are not operational. Post office addresses are those that are listed by the company.

Eight months after Ms. Presley’s passing in September, Naussany Investments submitted documents to a California probate court detailing Ms. Presley’s debt from 2018. It contained a deed of trust that offered Graceland security, signed by someone claiming to be Ms. Presley.

However, no deed of trust or other paperwork from Naussany Investments is on file with Clint Anderson, the deputy administrator of the Shelby County Register of Deeds, according to his office, “to legitimize this company foreclosing on any other property in Shelby County.”

Naussany Investments stated in its September filing that it would consent to a reduced $2.85 million settlement for what it called the debt, to be paid by the Presley family trust. However, the trust—which is currently run by Riley Keough, an actress, and the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley—did not think the debt was justified.

Then, Naussany Investments placed an advertisement in Memphis’s Commercial Appeal, announcing that Graceland would be up for auction at a foreclosure sale last week.

Due to this, Ms. Keough went to court last week to fight the foreclosure. She said in her filing that the financing was fictitious, the business was “a false entity,” and the attempt to sell Graceland was fraudulent. Attorneys for Ms. Keough claimed that some of the documents included fake signatures from a notary public and Ms. Presley.

The court denied Graceland’s quick foreclosure during a hearing on Wednesday, citing his need to examine additional documentation.

The Naussany firm was not represented at the hearing. However, just before it started, Gregory E. Naussany, claiming to be a company representative, filed a document with the court. In the filing, Ms. Keough’s accusations were refuted, time was requested for presenting a defense, and an email address for more communication—[email protected]—was provided.

But Naussany Investments seemed to have given up by the end of the day. The Associated Press and The Commercial Appeal both revealed that they received emails from the business retracting its assertions. Graceland’s tourism operator, Elvis Presley Enterprises, informed The New York Times that a lawyer representing the family’s trust had also received an email from someone posing as Gregory Naussany, claiming that Naussany Investments did not intend to move forward with a sale. 

However, Naussany Investments has not yet filed a move to withdraw its claim, according to court documents.

On Tuesday, Ms. Keough’s attorney declined to comment.

It’s hard to know how much credence to give the latest emails sent by the Naussany Investments email address to The Times, in an odd case with so many unsolved concerns. Although the author claims to be based in Nigeria, it is unclear exactly where he is.

A translator who examined the two emails sent to The Times said that although the English in the court filings the corporation has submitted is fluid, the Bantu language employed in the letters is awkward at times.

Several media sites, including NBC News, have received emails from individuals claiming to have connections to the corporation; nevertheless, it doesn’t seem that any malfeasance was acknowledged in those letters.

In its court documents, Naussany Investments has provided a list of multiple email addresses. The Times received both emails recently, and they were sent from the address stated in the company’s court filing as belonging to Gregory Naussany. In all of them, the author put up the argument that he was a member of an elaborate identity theft ring that had specifically targeted Americans because they were thought to be credulous.

In response to The Times’ request for additional details on particular matters, the author said, “You don’t have to understand.” Beyond claiming credit for what he claimed to be the ring’s success in prior cases, the writer did not explain being so open in the emails.

“I am the one who creates trouble,” the writer said in opening his first email on Friday.

Tennessee’s attorney general, Jonathan Skrmetti, announced on Thursday that his office would examine Naussany Investments and look into its attempt to foreclose on what he claimed to be the most “beloved” residence in the state. A request for comment on Tuesday was not immediately answered by an office spokesperson.

Darrell Castle, a lawyer from Memphis who has worked on foreclosures regularly for over 40 years, described the scenario as “extremely unusual to the point of being unbelievable” on Friday, even before the company’s newest emails were received.

Professor of real estate at the University of Memphis Mark A. Sunderman was astounded by the boldness of the endeavor, but he also pointed out that the system is not infallible.

“They picked the wrong piece of property,” he said. “If this had not been such a high-profile piece of property, they might have gotten away with it.”

In this instance, the person who claimed credit for the plan in emails later said he had been outwitted in a mix of English and Luganda.

“Yo client dont have nothing to worries,” the person wrote, “win fir her.”

Then the writer added: “She beat me at my own game.”

Recently, GreatGameIndia reported that Americans incurred a staggering $9 billion loss in 2022 due to scam text messages, as revealed by Federal Trade Commission data.

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