Two Eugene sneaker dealers are charged with an $85 million fraudulent scheme.
Michael Malekzadeh and Bethany Mockerman appeared in federal court on August 3 for wire and bank fraud. Their online storefront, Zadeh Kicks, is accused of non-delivery of products. He filed for dissolution this year, citing debt.
In one instance, Malekzadeh took 600,000 pre-orders on a new Air Jordan. He reportedly got just 6,000 pairs and withheld refunds. Brendan Dunne is the host of Full Size Run, Complex’s sneaker podcast. He said Malekzadeh had promised the impossible.
“That number is ridiculous. You couldn’t reasonably expect to get such a big chunk of shoes,” Dunne said.
Malekzadeh and Mockerman’s practices allegedly cost customers more than $70 million in unfulfilled orders and defrauded financial institutions out of more than $15 million. According to Dunne, schemes like this primarily hurt dealers looking to invest, not ordinary buyers.
As part of the government’s ongoing criminal investigation, federal agents have seized millions of dollars in luxury cash items. The government also seized nearly $6.4 million in cash, stemming from the sale of luxury watches and cars by Malekzadeh.
Malekzadeh and Mockerman are cooperating with the government’s investigation, including the seizure of the assets described above. Both were released pending further court proceedings.
The FBI is looking for affected clients at FBI.gov/ZadehKicks.