From Memphis to Nigeria, Graceland, the legendary home of Elvis, at the heart of a strange scam

From Memphis to Nigeria, Graceland, the legendary home of Elvis, at the heart of a strange scam
From Memphis to Nigeria, Graceland, the legendary home of Elvis, at the heart of a strange scam

Did Elvis Presley’s legendary residence in Memphis come close to a huge scam? When it was due to be sold, the King’s granddaughter suspended the operation just in time. In the media, a man presenting himself as a crook claims to have been at the head of this strange fraud.

It is one of the most famous houses in the world, once the residence of the king of rock, Elvis Presley, now a popular place for tourists who are fans of the singer. Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the one which was the last resting place of the artist almost missed the catastrophe. It all started in 2023, after the death of Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. When her inheritance was read, the family discovered that she allegedly failed to repay a $3.8 million loan she obtained from Naussany Investments before her death and therefore used Graceland as collateral.

But for Riley Keough, the King’s granddaughter, impossible to sell such a property without fighting to keep it. So she took legal action to block the sale, claiming that the documents signed by her late mother were false and that the company from which she allegedly borrowed money, Naussany Investments simply did not exist. The foreclosure sale was ultimately blocked and Naussany Investments abandoned its efforts to recover its money.

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A name behind the scam

The story could have ended with this legal battle if the possibility of a vast fraud had not been discovered. In its suit to block the sale, Riley Keough’s legal team names two people affiliated with the company: Kurt Naussany and Carolyn Williams. During a hearing on May 22, a certain Gregory Naussany entered the scene. He filed a request for a postponement of the hearing with the Commercial Appeals Chamber, which was denied. It is this same Gregory Naussany who, after the suspension of the sale, announced by e-mail to the same Appeals Chamber that he was abandoning the case. He then explained that Kurt Naussany had not been part of his company since 2015. A message “riddled with grammatical errors” and coming from a Hotmail address, wrote “USA Today”.

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But the Commercial Appeals Chamber received a new message on May 25, this time supposedly from Kurt Naussany himself, written in Spanish. “I have moles all over the United States, the Presley story is made up and is a hoax. My network preys on the dead and the elderly for money, we make things up to extract money from American citizens,” he wrote. “As you know, we the grazers in Nigeria have been doing this for years. We steal American birth and death records, hack people’s accounts, make up addresses, steal identities… We harm innocent people who don’t know their identities have been stolen and their names are being used. We failed this time, but we’re planning our next project and we toast all you idiots. Try to come and find us in Nigeria,” he added.

On May 28, the “New York Times” and also CNN announced that they had received a similar e-mail from Naussany Investments. Some details were a little different though. According to the “New York Times” the alleged representative of Naussany Investments claimed here to be a “leader on the dark web” and explained that his network preyed on the elderly and the deceased, “especially those in Florida and of California.” “I didn’t win this time. But I have stolen many identities and received a lot of money, you can’t win every time,” the self-proclaimed crook wrote, according to CNN, in a mix of English and Luganda, a language spoken by more than 5 million people mainly in Uganda, according to the United Nations.

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It is difficult to verify whether these messages are true. But authorities said they were aware of this strange story. “The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office has become aware of an email from an individual claiming to be Gregory Naussany who says, in essence, that he is a Nigeria scammer. We will continue to review the issue of the failed attempt to seize the iconic, beloved Graceland, home of Elvis Presley,” Amy Lannom Wilhite, communications director for the Tennessee Attorney General, said in an email released Wednesday. by “USA Today”.

“It was a mistake to target Graceland,” Mark Sunderman, a real estate professor at the University of Memphis, was quoted as saying by CNN. Court documents show that Naussany Investments offered to receive a sum from the Presley estate worth $2.85 million, a reduction of $950,000 from the original loan. According to Mark Sunderman, the goal of the crooks was not to take over the legendary residence but to quickly pocket money.

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