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Palm Springs landmark in chains

By Bianca Rae, KESQ News Channel 3 Reporter, brae@kesq.com
Published On: Feb 18 2013 11:33:07 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2013 07:09:05 PM CST
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

A Palm Springs monument is now behind chains. Many wonder what happened to the Elvis Presley Estate in Palm Springs.

Back in 2006, Reno Fontana and Laura Whittier bought the estate - with help from private lender Randy Raicevic and investing company Financial Bonanza.
 
We talked to Raicevic and Financial Bonanza's attorney, Michael Rubin.

"They had no money to put down. A couple investors helped them purchase the property. They're big Elvis fans, so their idea was to, with the assistance of other people's money, start making money by giving tours and having events at the home," Rubin said.  

Then, he says things didn't go according to plan - for the investors.

"They could not generate income, or they did and they lived on it. But they didn't make payments on the loan like they were supposed to," Rubin said.
     
Palm Springs Police confirmed the owners were evicted last month.

We're told when they left, they didn't leave empty handed.

"He took everything. He took a bed from the master bedroom, a picture, platinum records,"

"He even unscrewed the numbers on the address in front of the house, which has certain value, but you're not allowed if you're merely a tenant and being convicted, you cant start taking apart the place," Rubin said.

The house has been a popular tourist attraction for decades.

"They have been depressed to see that property in that condition, they're shocked,"

Rubin says Financial Bonanza isn't giving up hope on plans to bring it back to life.

"Just the fact that Elvis lives there, he intends to make it presentable and possibly furnish it the way it was, and start conducting tours and having events there again," Rubin said.

It's an effort to put the iconic home back in the right spotlight.

There are obviously several hoops to jump through before that can happen, including possible legal ramifications.

We contacted the former owner of the estate, Mr. Fontana, and he said he wanted to talk to us after this story aired.

We will reach out to him again. We will keep you updated.