PALM SPRINGS. It would seem Reno Fontana may have been a swindler and is now an art thief. Fontana was the proprietor for the Elvis Estate in Palm Springs which Elvis purchased with Priscilla and lived in from 1970 until his death in 1977. According to local news reports Fontana was evicted due to allegations about not paying the bills and pocketing large sums of money earned from renting the home for events and private tours.
The most recent allegation in the ongoing saga is the theft of the Elvis silhouette bolted to the chimney. The artwork belonged to artist Jeffrey Howe. A deal was arranged between Howe and Fontana to purchase and insure the piece, but Howe never saw a cent. Now it appears Fontana may have stolen the artwork.
Jeffery Howe says his Elvis Presley silhouette became part of the property and was never the personal property of Fontana, that his sculpture was massively bolted to the structure, not hung there like a painting but secured as an intrinsic part of the house, no different than a door or window. ~Dean M. Gray, Desert Vortex News
Fontana responded to the allegations about his eviction when the story was first reported.
So far Fontana has not responded to the second article in the investigative story by Dean M. Gray. Probably because he’s on the lam with a giant silhouette of Elvis sticking out of the trunk of his car. I wonder if Fontana is listening to Promise Land while he high tails around the country avoiding a potential arrest.
Too bad. When I met Fontana he was a nice guy and I instantly liked him, but maybe he was just looking to pick pocket me since his grand, personal tour with heart warming Elvis stories ended with showing me his plans for Graceland West.
I can’t wait for the next chapter in this story. I’ll keep you posted.