Ken Siverstein in Foreign Policy:
The owner of the estate at 3620 Sweetwater Mesa Road, which sits high above Malibu, California, calls himself a prince, and he certainly lives like one. A long, tree-lined driveway runs from the estate's main gate past a motor court with fountains and down to a 15,000-square-foot mansion with eight bathrooms and an equal number of fireplaces. The grounds overlook the Pacific Ocean, complete with swimming pool, tennis court, four-hole golf course, and Hollywood stars Mel Gibson, Britney Spears, and Kelsey Grammer for neighbors.
With his short, stocky build, slicked-back hair, and Coke-bottle glasses, the prince hardly presents an image of royal elegance. But his wardrobe was picked from the racks of Versace, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana, and he spared no expense on himself, from the $30 million in cash he paid for the estate to what Senate investigators later reported were vast sums for household furnishings: $59,850 for rugs, $58,000 for a home theater, even $1,734.17 for a pair of wine glasses. When he arrived back home — usually in the back seat of a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce or one of his other several dozen cars — his employees were instructed to stand in a receiving line to greet the prince. And then they lined up to do the same when he left.
The prince, though, was a phony, a descendant of rulers but not of royals. His full name is Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue — Teodorin to friends — and he is the son of the dictator of Equatorial Guinea, a country about the size of Maryland on the western coast of Africa.