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Fans of Elvis Presley and his family have anxiously followed the battle over his Graceland estate in recent weeks as a mysterious company made claim to the property while Presley’s granddaughter, actor Riley Keough, fought back in court against what she believed must be fraud.

Now the fraudster seems to boldly have revealed himself as an identity thief in correspondence with The New York Times and other major news outlets while still keeping his own identity concealed, for now.


“I am the one who creates trouble,” said the email writer, who corresponded with The NYT from an email address associated with the company known as Naussany Investments, which attempted to foreclose on Graceland last week via auction.

He added that he was a ring leader on the dark web with several “worms” located throughout the U.S. for the purpose of taking advantage of the dead, the elderly and other vulnerable groups, by using birth certificates and other documents to glean personal information to facilitate their schemes.

“We figure out how to steal,” the writer said. “That’s what we do.”

The email came last week in response to one The NYT had sent to Naussany Investments in regards to the company’s claim that Lisa Marie Presley had owed the firm $3.8 million, and had used Graceland as collateral on the debt. Rather than try to legitimize the claim, the email author seemed to flat-out admit to illegal actions.

“I had fun figuring this one out and it didn’t succeed very well,” the writer said. He further divulged that he was based in Nigeria, although the email was written in Luganda, a Bantu language spoken in Uganda.

Papers filed in probate court in California in the wake of Ms. Presley’s death were faxed from a toll-free number that services North America. That fax number, as well as the email address the writer used to correspond with The NYT, were included in documents sent to the Chancery Court in Shelby County, Tennessee, where the foreclosure case has been put on hold until the court is able to determine to whom Ms. Presley’s debt is owed, and if Graceland was at all involved in the terms of settling the debt.

Naussany Investments has been a mysterious part of the case since news first broke that a company intended to auction off Graceland. Public records on the company are scarce, and its listed phone numbers included in court documents are out of service. The addresses listed for the company are also associated with other buildings, like post offices.

The deputy administrator of the Shelby County Register of Deeds, Clint Anderson, said the office does not have on file any deed, trust or other documents from Naussany Investments that would “legitimize this company foreclosing on any other property in Shelby County.”

The company’s announcement that it intended to auction off Elvis’ former home, which is now also a tourist attraction, prompted Keough to fight the foreclosure with a lawsuit that claimed the loan was not legitimate and that Naussany Investments was “a false entity.” Keough’s lawyers also claimed that signatures of Ms. Presley and a notary on some of Naussany’s documents had been forged.

There was no representative for Naussany Investments present at the hearing on May 22, but the court did receive a filing from someone identifying himself as a company representative, Gregory E. Naussany, just before the hearing began. The filing rebutted against Keough’s claims and requested time to present a defense.

Later on the day of the hearing, The Commercial Appeal and The Associated Press both reported receiving emails from Naussany Investments stating that the company was withdrawing its claims to Graceland. Elvis Presley Enterprises, which runs Graceland’s tourist side, also reported that it had received an email from someone claiming to be Gregory Naussany who said the company would not move forward with the sale. Online court records, however, have not yet shown legal filings dropping Naussany Investment’s claims.

Other news outlets, including NBC, have received correspondence from individuals who claim they are associated with the company, but unlike the email received by The NYT, they do not admit any wrongdoing.

Whether the correspondence received by The NYT is legitimate is also unclear — both the English and Bantu language used in the correspondence is stilted at times, a translator who reviewed the correspondence said, but the court documents submitted by the company were in fluent English.

In each of two emails that The NYT received from, the author suggested he was a member of a sophisticated fraud operation that often targeted Americans because of their gullibility.

In response to questions sent by The NYT seeking to clarify the matter, the writer said, “You don’t have to understand.”

The entire scenario surrounding the case has been perplexing, something that Memphis lawyer Darrell Castle, who has worked on foreclosures for more than 40 years, called “extremely unusual to the point of being unbelievable.”

And yet, had someone else with fewer resources than Keough been the victim in this case, or had the property been less high-profile, the outcome may have been much different.

“They picked the wrong piece of property,” University of Memphis real estate professor Mark A. Sunderman told The NYT. “If this had not been such a high-profile piece of property, they might have gotten away with it.”

The mysterious email writer seems to have concurred: “She beat me at my own game,” he said.

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Email Lillian Dickerson

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