This prince was too charming to be true.

He lived like royalty in an ornate loft in Manhattan's downtown SoHo neighborhood -- but "Prince Josef von Habsburg-Lothringen of Austria" was actually Josef Meyers, a regular schlub from Michigan with a rap sheet longer than his phony name.

Even stranger, he was able to sustain this illusion by working as an FBI informant -- landing enough dough to fuel an over-the-top lifestyle in Manhattan, sources said.

But the bizarre saga of the oddball, 50-year-old scam artist has apparently come to an end.

Meyers is now cooling his royal heels in a Michigan jail after being nailed as a deadbeat dad for owing more than $200,000 in child support to his first wife, Marianne, and their kids, whom he abandoned years ago, law-enforcement authorities said.

The alleged con man's new digs behind bars are a far cry from his extravagantly appointed loft, where Meyers and his second wife, half-French, half-Vietnamese beauty Michel Trico, had been raising their kids.

"He would walk around SoHo in banker-style suits. It was always very preppy with expensive, intellectual-looking spectacles," said a source close to the family.

"Sometimes he would even wear a cordless hair dryer on his belt like it was a gun," the source said.

The family ate almost every meal in the now-closed Country Cafe on Thompson Street and wore quirky outfits of lederhosen and bow ties when they walked their rare dog around the streets of SoHo.

"We used to call them the Addams family because they were so weird but cool at the same time," one neighbor said.

But these eccentricities pale next to the tall tales that Meyers told.

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