NOT DEADLINE

WAS THE GRACELAND FORECLOSURE HOAXER SOMEONE RILEY KEOUGH KNEW?

Not Deadline LOVES a good mystery and this story has Agatha Christie meets Succession meets the boardgame Clue in spades. We can thank the uber-dysfunctional Presley parents and former Presley spouses and children and cousins and aunts and uncles and soon to be more children for this excitement. It’s got it all. An iconic icon. Musicians. Lots of money. Drugs. Alcohol. Celebrity. Artistry. Actors. Actresses. Embittered siblings. Embittered half-siblings…but, before we circle back…

…let’s set the table with specific facts (apologies if they are a rehash, but it’s important) from the Priscilla Presley lawsuit in 2023 and from the Riley Keough lawsuit a few weeks ago (May 2024) because history repeated itself in a purposeful way that no one has focused on. 

Lisa Marie Presley inherited all things Elvis (including Graceland) on her 25th birthday and named Priscilla Presley and former family business manager Barry Siegal as co-trustees. Upon Lisa Marie’s death, it came to light (Barry Siegel had voluntarily stepped down as a co-trustee in 2019 amidst a brutal and ugly lawsuit with Lisa Marie) in a 2016 amendment to Lisa Marie’s will, that Priscilla and Barry had been swapped out as co-trustees for Lisa Marie’s children, Riley and and Benjamin Keough. With Benjamin having already passed away, Riley became the sole trustee of Promenade Trust LLC which oversees Graceland as part of its portfolio.

Priscilla filed suit in January 2023 challenging the 2016 amendment on three primary grounds. First, the signature on the amendment was not Lisa Marie’s, but rather a forgery, in part, because the signature mispelled Priscilla’s first name. Second, Lisa Marie’s signature had not been witnessed or notarized. Third, Priscilla had never received or been notified of its existence until after Lisa Marie’s death, which was eight-ish years after the amendment had been drafted.

After months of legal wrangling, it was announced in mid-May 2023 that Priscilla and Riley had reached a financial settlement whereby Priscilla (no longer the trustee) and her son and grandkids would be paid different amounts of money for different reasons at different times.

And then, at some point between May and October 26th 2023, the overall ‘final’ settlement was reached and filed with the court. In addition to the agreed upon financial terms, Riley agreed to use best efforts to allow Patricia to be buried as close to Elvis as possible and to allow Priscilla’s son, Navarone Garcia (the half-brother of Lisa Marie who hated Lisa Marie and who hated him. We don’t know what Riley secretly thought of him. Probably not his biggest fan given he publicly insulted her mother at every turn), and others to participate and/or attend the memorial at Priscilla’s election. Riley also “agreed to use best efforts to ask Elvis Presley Enterprises and successors not to pursue litigation against Priscilla over name and image and likeness issues.” 

The fact that these personal, non-financial terms (with specific shout-outs to people like Navarone) were codified at all is intriguing. On their face, these clauses suggest, Priscilla’s 100% distrust of Riley (and the others involved with the LLC that oversees Graceland et al) as much in death as in life. Based on reports and articles over the years, this distrust could be rooted in Priscilla’s dysfunctional relationship with Lisa Marie and the controlling way in which Priscilla oversaw the estate and Lisa Marie’s life.

Fast forward to earlier this May 2024. Out of nowhere, a notice is published referencing an impending foreclosure sale of Graceland because, allegedly, Promenade Trust (now overseen by Riley Keough) defaulted on repayment of a $3.8 million loan to Naussany Investments & Private Lending, LLC (which was associated with Gregory Naussany and Kurt Naussany).

Riley’s lawyer filed for an injunction on three primary grounds. First, Lisa Marie Presley’s signature on the loan documents were forgeries. Second, the notary signature belonged to a notary who never met Lisa Marie or witnessed anything that was allegedly signed.  Third, certain legal documents had never been filed with the appropriate department. Do these three primary grounds for fraud sound familiar?

Turns out that the LLC and its alleged owners were complete fictions who, upon being sued, let the world know that they were withdrawing the notice and not moving forward with the foreclosure.

Which leads to two important questions that have not yet been satisfactorily answered. Who was credibly behind this foreclosure hoax and what was the motivation for doing it?

Some reports and experts suggested that random fraudster financial opportunism was to blame. Other outlets wrote that they had been contacted by a scamming network claiming responsibility. The New York Times reported that it was contacted by someone on behalf of a Nigerian fraud ring who claimed that the scam was all in the name of ‘just having fun’.

Not Deadline doesn’t buy what any of these alleged fraudster groups are selling. It definitely wasn’t about money because the property in question was too high profile. The perpetrator was a fictitious company overseen by fictitious people who could never survive a lawsuit as soon as the foreclosure notice was posted. As for the ‘just having fun’ angle…if it was 100% about fun, why did the perpetrators throw in the ‘fun’ towel so quickly and not play out the publicity and legal string until every ounce of fun had been had? They could have kept everyone’s heads spinning for days and even weeks or months instead of just saying ‘we give up.” Simple answer: it may have been ‘fun’ for the person or group behind it,, but it wasn’t just about that.

To the contrary, this hoax felt personal. Deeply personal. It felt like a staunch supporter of someone in the Presley family who’d been offended by the dubious 2016 amendment and/or the publicly reported terms of the 2023 settlement. Someone wanted to give Riley/the trust a taste of the same medicine that someone else had taken. Was it perhaps a staunch supporter of Priscilla’s (because trust oversight was taken away as well as the ‘buried next to Elvis’ clause in the 2023 settlement that she thought had to be included along with other things related to money and control)?…of Navarone Garcia’s (not just because he will get 1/9 of a specific amount of money outlined in the Priscilla/Riley 2023 trust settlement, but because of how embarassing it must be for Navarone that the world gets to learn that he is only going to his mother’s memorial because the daughter of the half-sister he hated has been kind enough to allow him to attend)?…of Barry Siegel’s (who had an all out legal brawl with Lisa-Marie where she accused him of bankrupting her and essentially ruining her life)?…of Michael Lockwood’s (he has every reason to hate Riley given all the PR she gets as the doting aunt of Michael’s two children from Lisa Marie and Michael’s disastrous divorce–.not to mention he was persona non grata after Lisa Marie’s death and sued the trust/Riley to get a piece of the action ‘for the kids’)?

The reader is probably asking what the basis is for this contention. Consider the fact that a forged Lisa Marie Presley signature was at the center of Priscilla’s lawsuit and Riley’s lawsuit. That an unnotorized Lisa Marie Presley signature was at the center of Priscilla’s lawsuit and Riley’s lawsuit. That the question of proper filing/notice of legal documents was at the center of Priscilla’s lawsuit and Riley’s lawsuit? That typos were at the center of Priscilla’s lawsuit with the person who drafted the amendment and Riley’s lawsuit with respect to the self-proclaimed fraudster having typos in their emails. Oh, yes. Whoever orchestrated this hoax followed the same roadmap from the challenged 2016 amendment in the 2023 suit. Nice try, faux scammer from Nigeria. This was the work of a meticulous, insightful copycat fraudster with an axe to grind.

Ok, so now what? Where does this leave us? Let’s do what the Nigerian scammer claimed and ‘just have fun’! Get the whiteboard out and put up pictures of the suspects— everyone related to or formerly married to or a close friend to or a business associate to a Presley who despises Riley/the trust and guess which room in the Graceland mansion it happened in and with what object. Let the game begin!!

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