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It looks like someone tried to steal Graceland

Analysis by Allison Morrow, CNN

New York (CNN) — We can’t be 100% sure that an obscure lending company just tried to steal Graceland. But a Tennessee judge on Wednesday said, essentially, it sure looks like that’s what happened.

It is a truly bananas series of events that led to Graceland, a beloved tourist attraction in Memphis, getting pulled from the auction block just one day before it was scheduled for a foreclosure sale.

ICYMI: Elvis Presley’s family home — the second most-visited residence in America after the White House — was set to go up for auction this Thursday, under the pretext that the late singer’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, who died in 2023, failed to pay back a $3.8 million loan she’d secured from a private lender called Naussany Investments and Private Lending.

Naussany claimed that the house was part of the collateral on that loan, and payment was due, so get ready to kiss Graceland goodbye.

But earlier this month, Riley Keough, Elvis’s granddaughter and the sole owner of Graceland, swooped in to halt the sale.

Keough, an actor known for her roles in “Mad Max Fury Road” and “Daisy Jones & the Six,” filed a lawsuit saying, essentially, Naussany’s claims were all garbage.

Keough contends there was no such loan made to her mother. And that Naussany isn’t even a real company.

Her lawsuit says that the documents Naussany presented, including a 2018 notarized promissory note signed by Lisa Marie Presley, were forged. Even the notary public whose name appeared on the disputed document, told the court in an affidavit that no, they’d never notarized Lisa Marie Presley’s signature.

On Wednesday, Shelby County Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins said that the affidavit was sufficient evidence to delay the foreclosure until a hearing can determine the facts. But Jenkins also suggested pretty overtly that someone, somewhere, did some frauds.

“It appears you’ll be successful on the merits,” Jenkins told Keough’s lawyer Wednesday.

When CNN attempted to reach Naussany Investments, the number was no longer in service. The business was listed in a court document from Keough’s attorney as being located in Kimberling City, Missouri, but CNN was unable to locate a business in the state of Missouri by that name. CNN was also unable to locate a business by that name when searching nationwide.

Then, on Wednesday, a person identified as a representative of Naussany Investments released a grammatically challenged and somewhat confusing statement saying they “will be withdrawing all claims with prejudice.”

“Due to the Deed of Trust not being recorded and the loan being obtained in different state, legal action would have to be filed in multiple states and Naussany Investments & Private Lending will not acquire to proceed,” the company said.

(“Not acquire to proceed?”)

It added: “There was no harm meant on Ms. Keough for her mothers LMP mis habits and mis managing of money.”

(LMP, presumably, is Lisa Marie Presley. As for “mis habits,” your guess is as good as mine.)

Bottom line: If Keough is right and this is a case of forgery and fraud, then it’s surely a contender for one of the all-time most foolish. (And, as we know, only fools rush in.)

Scammers and predatory lenders pull off all kinds of immoral and illegal schemes all the time, but most of them have the good sense not to prey on the multimillion-dollar estate of one the world’s most beloved cultural icons. If you pitched a movie script about it, the writers of the National Treasure movies would laugh you out of the room.

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