This past June, infamous sneaker reseller,Michael Malekzadeh a.k.a Zadeh Kicks sent shockwaves through the sneaker community when he dissolved his Zadeh Kicks LLC and made off with millions of dollars of sneaker pre-order money leaving many customers thousands of dollars poorer.
Now Bloomberg is reporting on how Malekzadeh was able to swindle countless people out of tens of thousands of dollars in one fell swoop, and in the process earning himself federal charges such as wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering. Referring to him as the “Bernie Madoff of sneakers,” Zadeh would sell highly-sought after Air Jordans, Nikes, and Yeezy’s at below market price months before their scheduled release dates and interestingly enough, they turned out to be authentic. Still, some customers would receive their orders months later while others were given store credit for more than they spent if he couldn’t fulfill their orders.
While things were going as smooth as could be for Zadeh for almost a decade, things hit a snag for him when he took a massive amount of pre-orders for the Air Jordan 11 “Cool Grey”‘s which release in December of 2021. Taking 600,000 orders for a sneaker whose stock number was set at 1 million proved to be problematic for the sneaker reseller as he could only manage to get his hands on 6,000 pairs (which is still impressive). That was the beginning of Zadeh Kicks downfall as he continued to struggle to fulfill orders in the coming months.
Jeremy Rogers, 30, a clinical researcher in Fort Worth, Texas, rattles off his purchase history: 100 pairs of the Air Jordan 11 Cool Grey, 300 pairs Air Jordan 4 Retro Lightning, 225 pairs of the Jordan 4 Retro Military Black, 100 pairs of Jordan 4 Retro Shimmer, 20 pairs of Travis Scott Jordan 1 High Fragment.
In all, he figures he spent $143,000 in sneakers he didn’t receive, spread over 15 credit cards.
But the ones that he did get, Rogers says he resold for far more than he bought them. The 100 pairs of Jordan Shimmer sneakers he bought for $160 from Malekzadeh, ended up selling for $315 a piece. He made about $15,500 on that one sale.
How Malekzadeh was even able to get his hands on those amount of sneakers is still a mystery with many saying he had backdoor connections and actually purchased much of his kicks on StockX. Still, there’s only so many sneakers available so many customers caught pre-ordered L’s courtesy of Michael Malekzadeh.
The FBI says they’ve seized $6.1 million in cash from Malekzadeh, along with pricey watches, and about 1,100 pairs of sneakers from his own personal collection. A court-appointed receiver says Malekzadeh’s Oregon warehouse still holds 60,000 pairs of sneakers as well. Probably a lot of bricks but we’re sure there’s a few thousand grails that sneakerheads have been pining for as well.
Now facing up to 30 years in prison, it should be interesting to see how things play out for Malekzadeh as he plans on pleading not guilty and taking his case to trial.
“Mr. Malekzadeh is not hiding from his conduct,” his attorney, Joanna Perini-Abbott, said. “He has consistently taken full responsibility for his actions and will continue to do so.”
Yeah, good luck with that.
Check out the rest of the article on Bloomberg to see just how deep in it Malekzadeh is and let us know your thoughts on the situation in the comments below.
Sneaker Reseller Zadeh Kicks Facing 30 Years In Prison For Ponzi Scheme was originally published on hiphopwired.com