Real Estate

Tennessee AG turns Graceland investigation over to federal authorities

The failed fraudulent auction of Elvis Presley’s former home will now be investigated by unnamed federal authorities

The office of Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has passed an investigation into an attempted fraudulent foreclosure auction of music icon Elvis Presley’s former home to federal authorities, according to reporting from the The Associated Press (AP).

The famous home known as Graceland was purchased by Presley in 1957 after his career skyrocketed, landing him the moniker of the “King of Rock n’ Roll.” Presley owned the home until dying there in 1977 at the age of 42. The home opened as a tourist destination in 1982 and remained occupied by members of the Presley family as a residence until his daughter, Lisa Marie, inherited the estate in 1993 when she turned 25.

Earlier this year, a company attempted to auction off Graceland, claiming that Lisa Marie Presley, who died in January 2023, had defaulted on a loan that used the estate as collateral. In May, actress Riley Keough — Lisa Marie’s daughter and Elvis’ granddaughter — sued to stop the sale and alleged that the company was perpetrating fraud.

The company that aimed to instigate the auction did not appear to be real, and the documents supporting their claim were suspect, according to reporting from the AP. A scammer later took credit for the ordeal.

Around the same time, Skrmetti announced that his office was investigating the attempted foreclosure and auction.

“My office has fought fraud against homeowners for decades, and there is no home in Tennessee more beloved than Graceland,” he said. “I have asked my lawyers to look into this matter, determine the full extent of any misconduct that may have occurred, and identify what we can do to protect both Elvis Presley’s heirs and anyone else who may be similarly threatened.”

But this week, a spokesperson for Skrmetti, Amy Lannom Wilhite, revealed that his office was turning the investigation over to federal authorities. She told the AP that the attempted sale “was a matter best suited for federal law enforcement.” She did not specify which federal authorities would be investigating the matter and representatives for the FBI declined to comment on any specifics.

“An email sent May 25 to the AP from the same address said in Spanish that the foreclosure sale attempt was made by a Nigerian fraud ring that targets old and dead people in the U.S. and uses the Internet to steal money,” the AP reported. “Keough’s lawsuit remains active. No future hearings have been set.”

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