Your Cookies are Disabled! sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

Notarization is key evidence in alleged Graceland foreclosure scam

Elvis Presley's home, Graceland

Do you need more evidence that today’s Notaries Public are more important than ever? Here it is: A legal drama is unfolding in Tennessee, in which the granddaughter and heir of Elvis and Priscilla Presley is suing to halt the foreclosure sale of the famed “Graceland” estate.

And a highly questionable notarization has become key evidence as the case continues to unfold.

The Graceland court battle

According to published reports, a Tennessee judge blocked the Graceland foreclosure sale on May 22 after actress Danielle Riley Keough, the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley, alleged in a lawsuit that a company operating as Naussany Investments & Private Lending LLC forged several loan and estate documents, and that the company does not actually exist.

After adjourning the sale, Shelby County Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins said in open court: “The Notary has sworn that the Notary did not notarize the signature of Lisa Marie Presley on the deed of trust, which brings in the question as to the authenticity of the signature and indeed the deed of trust as being a fraud.”

Priscilla Presley, now 78, has even taken to her social media accounts in protest, claiming: “It’s a scam!”

According to the lawsuit, the company “presented documents purporting to show that Lisa Marie Presley borrowed $3.8 million from Naussany Investments and gave a deed of trust encumbering Graceland as security.”

Keough and Priscilla Presley both claim that Lisa Marie Presley never entered such a deal stating “these documents are fraudulent” and that Naussany Investments “is not a real entity” and that it was “created for the purpose of defrauding the Promenade Trust, the heirs of Lisa Marie Presley, or any purchaser of Graceland at a non-judicial sale.”

Why the notarization is suspicious

Further adding to the intrigue, it is claimed that the Presley loan documents were notarized by Florida Notary Kimberly Philbrick in May of 2018. But there are two signs the notarization was potentially fraudulent. First, the certificate language reads that the documents were acknowledged before a Notary “by means of ( ) physical presence or ( ) online notarization.” Remote Online Notarization was not authorized in Florida until 2020, making it unlikely the documents were notarized in 2018.

Second, Philbrick stated in an affidavit that she did not perform the notarizations. “I have never met Lisa Marie Presley, nor have I ever notarized a document signed by Lisa Marie Presley,” she wrote in the affidavit. “I do not know why my signature appears on this document.”

Additionally, Keough’s legal team told the court that the promissory note and the deed of trust were allegedly forged and never recorded with the office of the Shelby County Register of Deeds after the alleged notarization.

While the intricate details of the alleged fraud have yet to be revealed, the suspected fraudulent notarization has become a central evidentiary issue in blocking the sale. The National Notary Bulletin will provide updates as the case develops. Graceland is a 14-acre mansion and property that was registered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.

Phillip Browne is Vice President of Communications at the National Notary Association.


Add your comment

T. Tyler

27 May 2024

See why documents should never be signed via email.My thought is safe to have all parts show ID and sign is person to prevent this from happening and to also cover all parties even the person(s) or company notoerizing the documents.

T. Tyler

27 May 2024

To be on the safe side to cover myself and clients. I would have them come in person with ID. After reading this article I will not be using electornic signuters only in person to cover myself first and for most and the clients secondly this way fraud can and, will not happen on my watch or me taken part in it on any level. Even if it means losing revenue and clients. Morals standards are right the first time every time.

Lee Dike

27 May 2024

Hopefully the notary in question Ms. Kimberly Philbrick, has a journal which shows no such notarization for that date! Online notarizations could not have been performed in Fl before 2020!

Vicki Fisher

27 May 2024

There is nothing in her Journal Book either?

Vicki Fishet

27 May 2024

No entry in her journal either, right?

LaKeisha W.

27 May 2024

I am just speechless. Where do I start? As a Notary Public previously in Florida and now Georgia, I am so glad that I document.Not only are innocent people are becoming victims to these scams. Now Notary Publics are under attack. I hope this gets resolved soon. Also, that they get something in place to prevent this. I also heard of a situation where several senior citizens are having this issue. The man took over their home as their possessions were on the front lawn.

Mary Avila

27 May 2024

In my many years as a notary in CA and NM, I’ve had to turn away notary jobs for many reasons and sometimes the person gets very angry… it’s a sign. The biggest concern is NO current photo ID. When someone tries to move money, change property owners, take minors out of the country or get their grandma or grandpa to change their Last Will and Testament, and cannot properly identify themselves, kindly walk away. You are keeping a crime from being committed. ALSO, if you sense that something is funky with a notary action that you have been asked to handle by a stranger, it is okay to say NO.

Barbara Holland

27 May 2024

Was there a notary stamp? Forging a stamp is impossible, correct? If there was a stamp then how do we protect ourselves?

Cindy B.

27 May 2024

More than ever, those of us who are Notaries MUST do our DUE diligence to protect people!! This is a perfect example…..

Beverly Fawcett

27 May 2024

This shows how important our Journals are, and that they should be kept secure.

so interesting!! our integrity is SO important!

27 May 2024

wow. article caught my eye after seeing Keough in "Daisy Jones and the six"


27 May 2024

Omg! Protect your signature. Protect your seal! This is crazy. Real estate notarizations are the most dangerous of all notarizations ever. The thieves!

Lynn Harrill

27 May 2024

Fascinating. To me, this shows the importance of keeping your notary journal and such in good order. I had to testify in a much lower-profile matter. Because I attempt to do the sane steps in a given order, I was able to testify comfortably to my procedure.

Cheryl Davison

27 May 2024

Congratulations on presenting the details of this case, and the significance of proper, legal and verifiable notarization. I encountered a similar situation when a niece of my late husband used his deteriorated state of mind shortly before his death to get him to notarize a Power of Attorney giving her all his properties. A Notary guards against fraud by assuring that signing parties are fully aware before committing to a signature.

Steven Ransom

28 May 2024

Was there a notary stamp? If there was a stamp, it's crucial to protect ourselves. It's impossible to forge a stamp. If you suspect someone has forged your seal or misused your notary information, report it to the authorities immediately.

Susan Mano

28 May 2024

I was wondering if Phillip Browne who wrote this article would be available to speak virtually on Saturday, October 26, 2024 for the NALS of Pennsylvania...association for legal professionals fall state conference for one hour with questions and answers during that hour. Please let me know. We have several members who are notaries in Pennsylvania myself included. We have a planning meeting set for June 8 to discuss fall education conference.

National Notary Association

29 May 2024

Hi Susan, thank you for contacting us. We have forwarded your request to Phillip Browne and will let you know if he or another NNA expert on Notary fraud is available to speak at your event.

28 May 2024

Asking about her seal being forged? Looks like with electronic notarizing, "The notary verifies the signer's identity and attaches an electronic version of their seal to the document. The seal must include the notary's name, commission number, and expiration date." So I guess if you could get an electronic version of the seal (maybe by copying off something else they notarized) you could fake up an "electronic version."

Brett Hyman

28 May 2024

I’m dealing with the very same thing!

Shainaaz Nelson

28 May 2024

This is really unfortunate and sad specially for the notary public who’s at the center of this high profile case. I’m a notary in CA, about few months ago a colleague who’s also a CA notary public received a strange phone call, the person asked him if he could provide his commission number, full name and expiration date of his commission. The colleague place him on hold and asked my advise I notice there was no caller ID so we couldn't’ t write the phone number it was clear a scam because when we tried to schedule an appointment in person he hang up. I wish there is more protection for notary public’s specially our signatures on the notarial certification is in wet ink that can easily be forged.

BK Jackson

28 May 2024

I agree 100% with T Tyler. I will NOT use RON. There are far too many scams going on out there for me to use that system. I've already heard about, and have read about too many fraudulent situations to keep me away from it. Everyone seems to want the "easy" way to do things. They want the comfort of their own home. No one wants to interact with anyone anymore. Not saying that fraud doesn't happen face to face, but I can detect it better that way than I can over a computer with someone from a different state, or the same state displaying a fake ID.

K. S. Fleming

29 May 2024

Table 5 - Journal/Seal Requirements for Florida (per the U.S. Notary Primer) states that journal entries are recommended but not required. However, I question the absence of the sea altogether. The primer states that FL seals show the Notary's name, "Notary Public - State of Florida," commission number & expiration date. This definitely points to fraud. Additionally, I question why nobody at the county clerks office or register of deeds caught the error to have the document done again... very suspicious indeed

Mario M. Davila

29 May 2024

I am not sure how this relates to RON. Many are speaking negatively about it regarding this article. The whole session is recorded. If the authenticity is questioned you can always go back to the video and the biometrics performed before the session.

Arthur T Rouse

30 May 2024

NC is still under the emergency online verification used during covid. The RON is currently scheduled to start July 1 pending final approval. One of the hangups has been proving the signer is actually in NC when signing.

Alba Gaston

04 Jun 2024

We have to be on our guard as notaries and protect our stamps. However, it isn't impossible to forget a notary stamp. In Florida, our commission information is public. I imagine it is the same in other states as well. A fraudster only needs to have your name, commission number and expiration date to get a fake stamp made by someone who either doesn't know/follow the rules for making these stamps.

Grace Solomon

05 Jun 2024

All of the advice on this thread is great and very informative! Thank you for the refresher and helpful information.

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.