'I had fun': Alleged scammer takes credit for Graceland foreclosure upheaval

A self-proclaimed identity thief based in Nigeria claimed responsibility over the puzzling, and now court-blocked, auction of Elvis Presley’s historic Graceland mansion.

The thief sent an email to the New York Times claiming to be part of a criminal network that targets the dead and elderly, particularly those from Florida and California, the outlet reported Tuesday.

The statement, which was sent in reply to questions about the case, came from an email address listed in court documents related to Naussany Investments & Private Lending LLC. Riley Keough, Presley’s granddaughter and owner of Graceland, sued the company earlier this month to stop a foreclosure sale of the Memphis property.

“We figure out how to steal,” the thief wrote to the New York Times on Friday. “That’s what we do.”

Naussany Investments presented a deed of trust to the estate in September via the Los Angeles County Superior Court, claiming that the late Lisa Marie Presley, Keough’s mother, borrowed $3.8 million from the company and offered Graceland as collateral. Keough fiercely disputed the claims, calling the documents “fraudulent” and “forgeries” in her lawsuit.

The alleged thief accepted defeat.

“I had fun figuring this one out and it didn’t succeed very well,” the statement continued.

Referencing Keough’s legal victories in the case, the message, as reportedly written, continued: “Yo client dont have nothing to worries, win fir her. She beat me at my own game.”

The New York Times reported that the thief wrote their message in Luganda, a Bantu language of Uganda. The email, the outlet said, was faxed from a North American toll-free number that also appeared in court documents.

A Tennessee judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the sale at a hearing last Wednesday, in which no representatives from Naussany Investments appeared. Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins said he would proceed with Keough’s fraud lawsuit, which asked the court to declare the deed of trust illegitimate.

Tennessee’s Shelby County Register of Deeds said last Tuesday that it did not have any filings relating to a Graceland deed, according to broadcast outlet WREG Memphis. The deed also included the signature of Florida notary Kimberly L. Philbrick, who submitted an affidavit stating she had never met Lisa Marie Presley or notarized a document signed by the singer.

Hours after the Wednesday ruling, a person purporting to be a Naussany Investments representative submitted a statement that said the company intended to drop its claims on Graceland, according to the Associated Press. However, the legal filings have yet to appear.

Elvis Presley Enterprises, which manages the Presley estate, told The Times in a statement at the time that it agreed with the court’s ruling to block the sale.

“As the court has now made clear, there was no validity to the claims,” the statement read. “There will be no foreclosure. 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 a best in class experience when visiting his iconic home.”

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