Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the son and, later, brother of Qatar’s emir, eventually graduated from the University of Southern California and returned to the Middle East. He became an officer in the country’s internal security service and has cultivated an image as a jet-setting heartthrob. His Instagram account, with more than a million followers, has featured the dashing, goateed royal yachting, driving priceless autos, skydiving, and occasionally cuddling with baby tigers.
His college years in L.A. were a closed chapter in a colorful life, and they probably would have stayed that way were it not for a series of indictments last year by federal prosecutors in Boston. The charges in the college admissions scandal did not involve Al Thani or his family, but the high-profile prosecution, with its allegations of wealthy parents scheming to get underqualified offspring into USC and other universities prompted some who knew the prince to reconsider the circumstances of his education. Shortly thereafter, The Times received a tip to look into his college degree.