Kleptocracy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, (from Ancient Greek: κλέπτης (thief) and κράτος (rule), "rule by thieves") is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest service. This type of government corruption is often achieved by the embezzlement of state funds. An Accused Kleptocrat, But Assuredly an MJ Fan By Joe Palazzolo WALL STREET JOURNAL OCTOBER 25, 2011, 6:14 PM ET Over at WSJs Corruption Currents, we wrote a quick post today on forfeiture complaints filed by the Justice Department against a mansion and assorted playthings belonging to Equatorial Guineas agriculture minister, who U.S. prosecutors say amassed a fortune through theft of his countrys resource wealth. The minister, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, is the son of Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who came to power in the Middle African country of about 668,000 in a 1979 coup. A spokesman for the government and the minister said they were deeply concerned about the civil suit but that there has been no wrongdoing. The complaints are part of a Justice Department initiative to purge the U.S. financial system of the proceeds of foreign corruption using civil forfeiture, which is not prefaced on a criminal conviction but requires the government to show by a preponderance of the evidence that assets it seeks to confiscate are linked to criminal acts. The feds are trying to seize a $38 million Gulfstream jet, $30 million Malibu mansion and a Ferrari, all of which were allegedly ill-gotten. And then there are the Michael Jackson artifacts. Mangue is apparently smitten with the late pop star. If the Justice Department prevails in the case, the U.S. government would be the proud owner of nearly $2 million in Jackson stuff including a jewel-encrusted glove that he wore during his Bad tour, which, listed at $275,000, is Mangues most valuable MJ item. But theres so much more. Heres a sampling of our favorite: · Two Jackson trademark fedoras ($60,000 each) · A signed jacket like the one he wore in the music video Thriller ($40,000) · MJ personal MTV Moonman ($50,000) · MJ wig ($60,000) · MJ and Paul McCartney signed autograph ($4,500) · MJ Scream shirt ($60,000) · MJ Stage-worn signed gold fencing shirt ($30,000) The rest of the list can be found toward the end of complaint (pages 41-43) embedded below. If the department does win, the U.S. government would likely sell off the Jackson flotsam, with the cash going to the departments forfeiture fund. Technically, the government has the authority to put forfeited items to official use, but that seems a stretch in this case. FAC_filed Link to Plait International ranking In early 2004, the anti-corruption Germany-based NGO Transparency International released a list of what it believes to be the ten most self-enriching leaders in recent years.[SUP] [/SUP] In order of amount allegedly stolen (in USD), they were: 1. Former Indonesian President Suharto ($15 billion $35 billion) 2. Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos ($5 billion $10 billion) 3. Former Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko ($5 billion) 4. Former Nigerian Head of State Sani Abacha ($2 billion $5 billion) 5. Former Yugoslav and Serbian President Slobodan Miloević ($1 billion) 6. Former Haitian President Jean-Claude Duvalier ($300 million $800 million) 7. Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori ($600 million) 8. Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko ($114 million $200 million) 9. Former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Alemán ($100 million) 10. Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada ($78 million $80 million) In addition, other sources have listed former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat as having stolen $1 billion to $10 billion.