Who knew that Michael Jackson’s famous bejeweled glove would cause such an international incident? The U.S. government is trying to seize Jackson’s glove from the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, but it’s turning out to be quite the job—seeing as this has been going on for 28 months. The whole incident will result in a hearing that will take place on Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Two years ago, the U.S. filed a complaint for forfeiture in rem in an attempt to take away about $71 million worth of possessions from Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue. Mangue, son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, had gone on a shopping spree for celebrity memorabilia in the U.S. Nguema is said to have “amassed over $300 million in net worth, all while earning an income of less than $100,000 per year as an unelected public official appointed by his father.” The U.S. government speculates that this extra $300 million was not earned through the cleanest methods. Still, the glove case, verbosely called United States of America v. One White Crystal-Covered “Bad Tour” Glove and Other Michael Jackson Memorabilia, is going to be a difficult one.
The U.S. government has filed complaints about Nguema’s assets, saying he obtained those assets and his wealth through illegal means. Nguema has also been said to have committed bank fraud. However, Nguema’s lawyers say the U.S. never had probable cause to institute the forfeiture action against his assets. In a brief filed on July 31, Nguema’s lawyers wrote, “The government still has not identified a single victim of extortion or bribery, or a specific instance of bid rigging. Nor can it show that it attempted to corroborate any of the reports of illegal activity that were referenced in the newspaper or magazine articles that it heavily relies on. In short, all that the government has is evidence that Claimant spent money.”
The hearing will take place in a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday under U.S. District Judge George H. Wu.