Instagram famous sneakerhead Michael Malekzadeh, aka Zadeh Kicks, thought he could swindle thousands of people in a multimillion-dollar scheme. After nearly a decade in Business Malekzadeh caught the attention of the feds and now faces wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and money laundering charges. If convicted, he could do as much as 30 years behind bars.
Zadeh Kicks offered sought-after kicks at below-market sale prices. Some even before manufacturers made them available. He made a buzz during the pandemic with the Air Jordan 11 Retro Cool Greys. Nike priced them at $225 and Malekzadeh was offering them at $115. The problems started to appear when he sold 600,000 pairs of the 11 Cool Greys and only had 6,000 pairs available in his warehouse in Oregon.
Prosecutors also found over 15 falsified loan applications for more than $15 million in bank financing. The court has access to over 3,500 emails from customers claiming to still be waiting for their sneakers.