Elvis Presley’s Graceland Sale Halted: Granddaughter Battles Alleged Scam

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In the heart of Memphis, Tennessee, there was a notable reprieve for the estate of the late music icon, Elvis Presley, on Wednesday. A presiding judge expressed belief in the estate’s potential success in contesting the questionable auction of the King of Rock and Roll’s former home, Graceland. The alleged fraudulent proceedings were temporarily halted, putting the scheduled foreclosure sale of the cherished tourist attraction on pause.

In a subsequent, somewhat cryptic, statement from an apparent company representative, it was indicated that they would relinquish their claim, a claim which the Presley estate had consistently denounced as founded on phony documents. As of now, online public records don’t clearly evince any legal filings to suggest that this contentious claim has indeed been withdrawn.

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A result of the stellar advocacy of Riley Keough, Presley’s granddaughter, was the issuance of a brief injunction by Shelby County Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins against the looming auction. This temporary ban essentially extends the effectiveness of a previous restraining order that Keough had sought. Inscribing his ruling, Jenkins waxed eloquent about Graceland, stating, “Graceland is a part of this community, well-loved by this community, and indeed around the world.”

The whirlwind seemed to have started in early May when a publicly-posted foreclosure sale notice of the 13-acre Graceland estate stated that Promenade Trust, which oversees the Graceland museum, was failing to offset a 2018 debt amounting to $3.8 million. Actor Riley Keough, who inherited the trust and hence the ownership of Graceland after the death of her mother, Lisa Marie Presley, last year, was at the center of this financial storm.

According to the foreclosure notice, Lisa Marie had used Graceland as collateral for the sizable loan, as claimed by Naussany Investments and Private Lending. Keough, disputing this allegation, filed a legal suit against Naussany last week, accusing the company of having presented falsified documents pertinent to the loan in September 2023. Keough’s attorney confirmed, “Lisa Maria Presley never borrowed money from Naussany Investments and never gave a deed of trust to Naussany Investments.”

On the day of the ruling, neither Keough, Naussany’s lawyers, nor Naussany representatives were present in the courtroom. Following the ruling, it was declared that Naussany would refrain from pursuing the case any further. The statement cited that central documents and the loan related to the case were recorded in a different state. It implied initiating legal proceedings would involve complicated multi-state involvement.

An enigmatic statement revealed the decision of the company to drop all allegations prematurely, stating, “The company will be withdrawing all claims with prejudice.”

The trail of this case is somewhat obfuscated by ghost addresses and unlisted business names; documents reference Naussany in Jacksonville, Florida, and Hollister, Missouri. However, both addresses coincide with local post offices, and the company remains invisible in the state databases of registered corporations in either state.

Adding to the dispute over the loan, Kimberly Philbrick, the notary on Naussany’s documents, purportedly denied any professional interaction with Lisa Marie Presley. The estate’s lawsuit, citing the notary’s affidavit included, seemed to cast doubt about the authenticity of the signature on the contested documents.

Finally, Elvis Presley Enterprises sought to reassure fans of the late singer that Graceland would continue its operations. It pledged to preserve the Presley musical legacy by providing “the best in class experience when visiting his [Presley’s] iconic home.” The entertainment complex, situated opposite the Graceland museum, remains a significant stop for hundreds of thousands of Elvis aficionados each year. The King still calls Graceland home, albeit beyond the veil.