Sports & General

Company drops plan to auction Graceland after judge blocks sale amid fraud claims

By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) — The company that had intended to auction off Graceland, singer Elvis Presley’s iconic mansion in Memphis, abandoned its plan on Wednesday after a Tennessee judge blocked the sale following allegations of fraud.

A representative for the company, Naussany Investments & Private Lending, told Reuters in response to a request for comment that it would withdraw all of its claims over Graceland. The statement arrived shortly after a court hearing in Memphis where Shelby County Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins issued an injunction halting the foreclosure sale scheduled for Thursday.

Graceland, where Presley is buried, is a popular tourist attraction, drawing more than 600,000 visitors a year. Presley, dubbed the «King of Rock and Roll,» died in 1977 at age 42.

Naussany Investments had claimed that his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley — who died last year at age 54 — had used Graceland as collateral when borrowing $3.8 million that was never repaid, according to a public notice of the intended sale.

Presley’s granddaughter, actress Riley Keough – who inherited the home after her mother’s death – sued Naussany, asserting that her mother never took out the loan and that Naussany was engaged in fraud.

In a sworn affidavit attached to the lawsuit, the notary public listed on Naussany’s documents said she never met Lisa Marie Presley or notarized her signature.

The notary’s statement, Jenkins said on Wednesday, «brings in the question as to the authenticity of the signature» as well as whether the underlying document is fraudulent.

In response to an email seeking comment, Gregory Naussany, whose role in the company is not clear, said it would «be withdrawing all claims with prejudice.»

According to Gregory Naussany, the company made its decision in consultation with its lawyers after concluding it would have to file legal actions in multiple states, since the alleged loan was secured in Florida. He did not directly address Keough’s allegations.

In a statement, Elvis Presley Enterprises, which operates Graceland, said, «As the court has now made clear, there was no validity to the claims. There will be no foreclosure.»


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