Did Nigerian Scammers Almost Get Away with a Plan to Steal Elvis Presley’s Graceland Estate?

Plans to auction off Elvis Presley’s Graceland estate by a shadowy investment company were recently thwarted by the performer’s granddaughter, actress Riley Keough, and now someone is stepping forward claiming to be the leader of a ring of Nigerians who were behind the auction attempt.

Photo of Elvis At Graceland via Graceland.com

In early May, Naussany Investments and Private Lending LLC claimed ownership of the Memphis estate. The company attempted to auction off Graceland at a foreclosure sale, but on May 29 a judge halted the sale, ruling that more review of the case documents was needed. 

The Scam

The company claimed that they loaned $3.8 million to Keough’s mother, Lisa Marie Presley, before her death in January 2023. It is also alleged that Presley offered Graceland as collateral on the loan. The company placed a lien on the property and scheduled a foreclosure sale.

But the plan failed when Keough filed an injunction to block the auction sale. Keough alleged that Naussany Investments was not a real financing company and was developed with the intention of taking the property. In addition, she argued that Presley’s signature was forged and other documents were fraudulent. 

“Naussany Investments & Private Lending LLC appears to be a false entity created for the purpose of defrauding the Promenade Trust, the heirs of Lisa Marie Presley, or any purchaser of Graceland at a non-judicial sale,” Keough’s filing to the court said.

In addition, Keough’s countersuit argued that Shelby County officials in Tennessee never recorded the deed of trust signed in May 2018.

The New York Post reports it was told by unidentified sources close that Keough “never thought that a historic piece of property could even be considered to go into the hands of any random stranger.” 

Keough’s legal team is not settled on the matter, according to sources shared in The New York Post. It is reported that Keough was in touch with the FBI who has shown an interest in launching a criminal probe. 

Taking Credit For Fraud? 

In an interesting turn of events, someone claiming to be from Naussany Investments sent two emails to The New York Times admitting participation in the scam. 

In the first email received, the publication reported that it said, “I am the one who creates trouble,” and shared that its organization researches and preys on the elderly, dead people, and Americans who are unaware of scams. The writer, communicating in English and the Bantu language, said the ring is based in Nigeria and preys on Americans in Florida and California using documents such as birth certificates to support their schemes. The emails came from the same email address Naussany Investments used in a court filing last week.

“We figure out how to steal. That’s what we do,” the scammer wrote. “I had fun figuring this one out and it didn’t succeed very well.”

A Look At Graceland 

Keough’s grandfather, Elvis Presley, purchased Graceland in 1957 for $102,500. The mansion sits on a 13.8-acre estate in Memphis. The entertainer is buried on the land along with his daughter, grandson, parents, and paternal grandmother. 

Lisa Marie Presley inherited Graceland when she turned 25 years old. When Lisa Marie Presley died in 2023, Keough took ownership of the property. 

Once the home of Elvis Presley and his family, Graceland was opened to the public as a museum in 1982. In 1991, it became the first site of a rock star to be on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2006, Graceland became a National Historic Landmark 

Still operating as a museum, the estate attracts an estimated 650,000 visitors yearly. 

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