Eugene sneaker business charged in fraud scheme

By Nathan Wilk (KLCC)
Aug. 9, 2022 11:43 p.m.

Two Eugene sneaker re-sellers are being charged in an $85 million fraud scheme.

Michael Malekzadeh and Bethany Mockerman appeared in federal court on August 3 on charges of wire and bank fraud. Their online storefront, Zadeh Kicks, is accused of product non-delivery. It filed for dissolution this year, citing debt.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:

In one instance, Malekzadeh took 600,000 pre-orders on a new Air Jordan. He allegedly obtained only 6,000 pairs and withheld refunds. Brendan Dunne is the host of Full Size Run, Complex’s sneaker podcast. He said Malekzadeh promised the impossible.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:

“That number is ludicrous. You could not reasonably expect to get that big of a chunk of the shoes,” Dunne said.

Malekzadeh and Mockerman’s practices allegedly cost customers more than $70 million in unfulfilled orders and defrauded financial institutions out of over $15 million. According to Dunne, schemes like this mostly hurt resellers looking to invest, not ordinary buyers.

As part of the government’s ongoing criminal investigation, federal agents have seized millions of dollars in cash luxury goods. The government also seized nearly $6.4 million in cash, resulting from Malekzadeh’s sale of watches and luxury cars.

Malekzadeh and Mockerman are cooperating with the government’s investigation, including the seizure of assets described above. Both were released pending further court proceedings.

The FBI is seeking affected customers at FBI.gov/ZadehKicks.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:
THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:

Related Stories