The United States is seeking to seize almost $71 million in allegedly corrupt assets from the son of the leader of Equatorial Guinea.
The U.S. Justice Department accused Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of longtime President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mbasogo, of amassing more than $100 million and using the proceeds to fund a lavish life in the United States and abroad.
The Justice Department filed forfeiture complaints in Los Angeles and Washington for a $38.5 million Gulfstream V jet, a $30 million home in Malibu, a 2011 Ferrari worth more than $530,000 and Michael Jackson memorabilia worth almost $2 million.
We are sending the message loud and clear: the United States will not be a hiding place for the ill-gotten riches of the world's corrupt leaders, said Lanny Breuer, Head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.
Between June 2010 and June 2011, Nguema acquired a treasure trove of Jackson memorabilia, some without his name being used, the court papers said. Late last year, he moved his luxury car and motorcycle collection, worth an estimated $10 million combined, from Los Angeles to France.
According to the complaint, the alleged corruption ran the gamut of bribery and money laundering schemes, including demanding fees before signing logging concessions to companies or paying a tax before getting timber exports approved.