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Elvis Presley News continues to reveal the scams perpetrated by Donna Presley Early & husband Buddy Early after new victims contacted us about being defrauded. Victims One: Julie and Andy Morewood of England paying $5,500 for a faux TCB necklace claimed to have once belonged to Donna Presley's father

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Julie Morewood, a fan since 11, joined Donna Presley Early’s Yahoo group and counted herself lucky to meet Donna and Buddy in Tupelo. The Earlys, charming as could be, drove Julie and her husband Andy back up to Memphis and invited them into their Rivermark penthouse suite. They shared several meals, with the Morewoods paying.

The Morewoods were delighted that little Nash called them Auntie Julie and Uncle Andy and were thrilled to be Donna and Buddy’s friends. Asked to write a letter of endorsement for Donna’s website to try to counteract growing rumors the Earlys were crooks, they were only too happy to write one. Ironically, their letter of endorsement now haunts them.  Julie asked Donna if she knew of anyone who had anything which belonged to Elvis, such as a scarf, which she could buy. Donna told them her father wanted to sell a few things which Elvis had given him and although sought by dealers he would rather sell them to a fan.

Donna and Buddy desperate to make the sale when the Morewoods said they couldn’t pay the initial price of 10 thousand dollars the price dropped to $5,500 with a promise from Donna it would come with a photo of Elvis wearing it - that was omitted in the parcel. March, 2003, the Morewoods paid for the TCB from money that Julie had inherited from her grandmother. it took 5 months before the item arrived.

Now, Loretta Adam, founder of the Official Dutch Fan Club for Donna Presley Early, saw a photo of the TCB Julie bought and stopped cold: That very TCB or one just like it, had been offered to her by Donna, long after Julie had already paid for it. Loretta was told the same story, that Elvis had given it to Earl Pritchett. The price was a firm $10,000 and Donna gave Loretta just 4 hours to make up her mind on this one-time offer. And instructed her to delete the message after reading it. Loretta declined the offer but is haunted by the thought that the Earlys were willing to cheat her.

As Loretta says,"Money can always be replaced--although it would take time to replace $10,000--but once faith is gone, it is gone forever." Like others, Loretta hurts for Elvis and the Presley name. “Elvis worked so hard and had such a reputation for love and generosity to everyone he met, not just his fans, that this is why we are working so hard to see justice done: To defend the Presley name.” Loretta’s earlier letter of endorsement, like that of the Morewoods, is also on Donna’s website, but Loretta has requested that it be removed and her fan club links deactivated, since she has shut down the fan club she had for Donna and, along with other outraged Elvis fans, has vowed not to rest until Julie is repaid. The TCB turned out to be fake, a replica. There were no diamonds in it, only fake stones. But alert Elvis fans knew all along Earl never got a TCB from Elvis. He would not have failed to mention it in his chapter of Aunt Nash’s book describing what Elvis meant to him and would proudly have included a photograph of it in that book. Even Harold Loyd, who was much closer to Elvis than Earl was, never got a TCB.   
Donna and Buddy promised to repay Julie her $5,500 but have broken repeated promises to do so, saying they are broke, and unless they are hired as spokespersons for the resurrected Circle G Resort project, have no prospect of employment. They are still relying on Elvis fans for their income. Consider the next victim: 

Victim Two: Lucy O’Brien of Arizona cheated out of $8,000 in an investment scam. Elvis Presley News played a key role in getting help for this victim of Donna and Buddy Early. After a friend of Lucy O’Brien’s saw the article, “Presley in Name But Not in Honor,” they contacted a law-enforcement official named in the article. As a result, Memphis Eyewitness News featured Lucy O’Brien’s story on a scam alert on February 26 & 27, 2004. It aired on two different TV stations, Channel 30 UPN and Channel 24 KPTY, reaching the Memphis area and parts of Arkansas.

Here is the complete story you will read only here: Lucy O’Brien, a sweet retired Elvis fan living in a trailer in the desert, attended Jamie Coyne's Elvis Extravaganza in Laughlin, Nevada, in January, 2002. She had never heard of Donna Presley, but was impressed when Donna took the stage and told how Elvis had helped build a church for her pastor mother, Elvis' Aunt Nash, and how she, Donna, had grown up in the Assembly of God church. As a Christian, Lucy was moved by this expression of faith. 
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Lucy was a flashy dresser, which got Donna’s attention. Donna gushed over the pearl-covered baseball hat Lucy was wearing, saying she planned to open a boutique someday and wanted to carry items just like that. The next day, Lucy gave it to Donna. She was excited to meet a close relative of Elvis, and happy to bask in the reflected Elvis stardust. Sheeven helped Donna sell her books to fans.  “When I met Elvis’ cousin,” Lucy says, “I just fell in love with her because of Elvis.” Donna and Buddy thought she had money. They invited her to Memphis for the 25th anniversary. 
January, 2003, Lucy traveled to Las Vegas for the Elvis Extravaganza at the Westward Ho. She was at Donna’s table helping sell books when she witnessed Donna and Buddy being served legal papers by a Las Vegas process server. She did not know that the Earlys publicly denied being served; that they were served on 1/04/03 at the Westward Ho is documented on the Memphis Circuit Court website http://tinyurl.com/ngvl  - Case No. CT-006482-02  

"God would want me to do this" After she returned home to Arizona, Buddy called her. “To what do I owe the honor of this call?” Lucy asked. “There’s an Elvis memorabilia collection for sale by Mary here in Memphis. If we buy it, it will make us a lot of money. Would you like to go in with us?”  It sounded pretty good, so she agreed. 
  
"Can you bring us $4,000 cash? Right away?" Buddy asked. "I wasn't THAT stupid," Lucy says now. She asked for a written agreement. Buddy replied “No, Elvis never made any contracts. He did everything on a handshake.” When Lucy insisted, Buddy promised to have his attorney write up an agreement to give to Lucy’s attorney. He never did. They needed her 'half,' $4,000, immediately. It cost her over $30 to FedEx it next morning delivery.  "Don't do it," her son begged. "It's okay, I know these people," Lucy replied.

After Buddy received the $4,000, he called asking, "Where is the rest of the money?" "I thought you were putting up the other half," Lucy replied, puzzled. Now he changed his tune: "No, you have to put up all of it. We need the rest of the money right now. FedEx it tomorrow." "It's in my IRA, it will take a week to withdraw it."   Lucy sent the first $4,000 check January 15, 2003, and the second $4,000 check January 30, 2003, incurring over $60 in FedEx next-morning-delivery charges.
 
Two weeks after FedExing the second check, Lucy flew to Memphis. She told Donna and Buddy she couldn’t afford to stay in a hotel for two weeks, so they invited her to stay with them at their penthouse. While she was there, they told her that 'Mary' had changed her mind and decided not to sell her Elvis memorabilia collection. Yet they wouldn't give her back her money. They told her it was gone.  "What did you spend my money on?"
 
Donna and Buddy were not prepared to answer the question. "Well, I spent $2,000 of it on a truckload of Disney memorabilia," Buddy offered, though a friend of the Earlys insists somebody else paid for the truckload of hot goods. The Disney goods had been donated by Disney to the Ronald McDonald House, but instead found its way to the black market.  The Earlys tried to sell some of it at a flea market in downtown Memphis but had little success. They wanted to sell it on eBay but asked Lucy to put up $400 ‘for an eBay page.’ She refused.   "What about the rest? Where is it?" He had no answer. They had a big bag of leather. "What are you going to do with that leather, Buddy?" "We're going to make leather headbands with Donna's name on them to sell to fans." 
  
They took her to a restaurant on Beale Street. They bought her a Harley-Davidson watch. “They wined and dined me,” Lucy says. “With my money and whenever I would ask for my money," Buddy would tell me, “Lucy, don’t think with your head, think with your heart!” Lucy’s reply: “I did think with my heart, and look where it got me!”   “As Famous as Elvis”  Donna told Lucy, "I want to sparkle on stage just like Elvis did." Donna said she loved being on stage and said, "I want to wear rhinestones and sparkle just like Elvis."  Donna told publicist Barbara Wawrczeck in all seriousness that one day she planned to be “as famous as Elvis.” Few people knew at the time that J. D. Stacy had stopped paying the Earlys' rent at the Rivermark as of November 2002. But it's now clear why Lucy's money was needed so urgently: To pay their rent at the Rivermark penthouse.
 
During her February trip Lucy accompanied Jim Browder on his tours every day, and met a lot of people, one of whom was Becky Martin, Elvis' Tupelo classmate who had remained close to Elvis even after he made it big.  Lucy told Becky about the money she had sent to Donna and Buddy, which was never used for the promised purpose, and which was now apparently all gone. Becky was outraged, and when she heard Bill Kinard might hire Donna to do PR on his Tupelo cemetery project, she tried to warn him not to get involved with the Earlys. But they kept missing each other until it was too late and the Kinards had already hired Donna.   

 

Lucy returned to Memphis again in July, 2003. This time she stayed with Becky Martin for two days and discussed her plight who suggested she pay a visit to the Better Business Bureau and also see an attorney. The administrative assistant at the Better Business Bureau of Memphis, Dawn Boone, gave her a list of attorneys. She went through the list, finally settling on Charles D. Wright, whose office was at 150 Court Street in downtown Memphis. Attorney Wright wrote two letters on Lucy's behalf, one to Donna and Buddy Early and the other to Jim Browder, who at Buddy’s request Lucy had loaned money to help save his truck from being repossessed. Jim promised to repay her in full by September, 2003, but never did.  Mr. Wright charged her $250 for writing two letters and was told he could be of no further help to her. “They’re street smart,” he said. “They are not going to pay you.” Walking Lucy to her car as the Better Business Bureau closed for the day, and seeing her near tears and expressing a wish that one of the tabloids would publish a story about being swindled by a cousin of Elvis, Dawn Boone had an idea: Perhaps an investigative reporter might be interested in the fan's story. Lucy called the reporter but left town without hearing from him.
 
Word got back to Donna and Buddy that Lucy had gone to the Better Business Bureau and consulted an attorney, Buddy resorted to death threats. 
 

September 3rd, 2003, Lucy called Buddy's cell phone. Buddy said he and Donna were on their way overseas to help open an Elvis bookstore but didn't say that he and Donna had been served earlier that morning with a court order and that deputies were still at the penthouse loading repossessed goods onto a rental truck. He did not tell her then, or perhaps he did not know, that he and Donna would never again be permitted to live at the Rivermark. The locks were changed, they were denied entry, and it would be weeks before they could collect any of their possessions.
 
After returning from overseas, Buddy accused Lucy of telling the law where they lived. Buddy had warned her repeatedly when she stayed with them never to tell anyone where they were living. "Why would I tell anyone where you were living? I would have no reason to." "Someone has a hit contract out on our lives," Buddy explained. "Why would anyone want to kill you?" she asked. "Because of some jewelry," he answered. 
 
Buddy started asking about Becky Martin. "Are you friends with Becky?" he demanded to know. Lucy wouldn't answer. Why is he asking about Becky Martin, she wondered. She didn’t know it then, but it was because Becky had told Bill Kinard that her friend had been conned out of $8,000. And Bill told Donna and Buddy he could not work with them until all fans were paid back. Buddy denied owing Lucy anything at all. December 27, 2003, Buddy called and again accused Lucy of tipping off law enforcement where they were living, which got them kicked out of the Rivermark. "I swear to God," Buddy declared, "If I ever find out who told where we were, I may go to prison for the rest of my life BUT I WILL KILL THEM!!!!"
 
Donna and Buddy were furious. No more would they be living in a luxury penthouse overlooking the Mississippi River close to Cybill Shepherd's house. No more would they live near their favorite restaurant, the Butcher Shop. No more could they remain anonymous, living under the names Jim and Susie Dean at the Rivermark while enjoying the vibrancy of downtown Memphis.  
  
Had someone not alerted law enforcement, the owner of the Elvis Presley Heights Memorial Gardens and Fans Forever Wall project would still be paying for the Earlys’ Rivermark penthouse apartment and would have bought them a new car as he had promised.   "We will sue you and your children and your grandchildren," Buddy threatened as he woke the man in the middle of the night to taunt him about severing the PR contract with Donna. If Buddy is not threatening one person, he is usually threatening another. His tactics have successfully silenced at least one victim, Donna's cousin Edie Hand. Lucy, however, was innocent. She was not the one who turned them in.
 
Despite the threats on Lucy O’Brien’s life, she courageously went public. She will probably never see a dime of her $8,000 retirement money. She has to pay 10% interest on it, money she doesn’t have to spare. She is telling her story to warn other Elvis fans around the world that what happened to her could happen to you.

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