Comment la Air Jordan XI Low a fait chuter le Bernard Madoff de la basket

Comment la Air Jordan XI Low a fait chuter le Bernard Madoff de la basket

For a time, Michael Malekzadeh was a rich young man. Very rich: as Bloomberg explains in an article dedicated to this amazing sneaker Bernard Madoff, his little company Zadeh Kicks was able to pocket tens of millions of dollars, spent on Lamborghini, Ferrari or Bentley, with the guy also lashing out with $3 million in Louis Vuitton or gold and similar items.

Originally from Eugene, Oregon, Malekzadeh was the wizard of sports pumps and collectibles. For years, his small business had been selling rare pairs at bargain prices that consumers scrambled to get.

Ever since Bernard Madoff’s name was mentioned, the sequel has been known: Zadeh Kicks is now described as a long-running Ponzi scheme, the massive orders of some financing the deep discounts of the shoes of others, until the whole does not fall apart. . like a house of cards.

In the sneaker market, valued at $70 billion in 2020, Zadeh Kicks had carved out a good niche and found a huge clientele, thrilled to get their hands on rarities sold at such low prices.

“In fact, prosecutors now explain, Malekzadeh took orders and raised the money for thousands of sneakers he didn’t and couldn’t have, at least at prices with some economic interest.Bloomberg writes.

In short, as always in these flashy diagrams, it was too good to be true. Some customers ordered hundreds of pairs of these rare shoes and then resold them at high prices on the market. It regularly happened that they received all or part of their order, and the former were sometimes capable of great somersaults.

Others, on the other hand, victims of the pyramid, received nothing or only part of what they had ordered. Then they were cajoled by gift certificates, delaying maneuvers, and promises of singing tomorrows.

The building was shaking but still not collapsing. Until the latest edition of the Nike Air Jordan, the XI Low Cool Grey, announced by Nike in December 2021 at a public price of $225. A few weeks before it went on sale, site Zadeh Kicks offered the shoes for just $115, with delivery a few weeks after release.

air money

“Malekzadeh sold 600,000 pairs, he had 6,000”says Bloomberg. But while Zadeh Kicks raised up to $70 million, the mass of betrayed clients ended up collapsing the scheme, putting Malekzadeh in a very delicate position. Unable to fulfill the orders that had been paid for, the company disappeared.

He would still have 60,000 pairs of high-heeled shoes of various brands and models in a closed warehouse in Oregon, in front of which an angry clientele sometimes gathers to collect their due: the police had to intervene several times and in one of them they fired a shot. interventions.

Zadeh Kicks could count on some furious sneaker heads Bloomberg thus presents the case of Jeremy Rogers, a Texan investigator who ordered the site “100 pairs of Air Jordan 11 Cool Grey, 300 pairs of Air Jordan 4 Retro Lightning, 225 pairs of Jordan 4 Retro Military Black, 100 pairs of Jordan 4 Retro Shimmer, 20 pairs of Travis Scott Jordan 1 High Fragment”. In total, $143,000 was spent, spread across fifteen different credit cards.

He thought that he could later turn these sneakers into fortunes, but in reality he only received a part of them. Bought for $160, his 100 pairs of Jordan Shimmers found buyers for $360: this single sale netted him more than $15,000.

Ultimately, this is insufficient to cover your total losses. But this kind of transaction represents speculation with juicy enough financial potential for buyers to rush in and also try to profit en masse from Zadeh Kicks’ record prices and the frenzy surrounding collectible soft-soles.

The most surprising thing, underlines Bloomberg, remains that Zadeh Kicks was able to operate for so long without even paying for low-level fakes: those who were lucky enough to see their orders honored received genuine shoes, endowed with great resale value.

Some suspect that he bought a large portion of the pairs and then resold them on StockX, others that over time he built up a large network of fellow independent resellers, who could possibly provide him with rare pairs.

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