Last December, a former Nike employee pled guilty to his role in a massive theft ring that involved nearly $1 million of rare sample sneakers being stolen. Now, the time has come for Kyle Yamaguchi to face the music in front of a Portland judge.
Yamaguchi was in court Wednesday where he was sentenced to 5 years of probation with 50 hours of community service. Yamaguchi's lawyers argued that his cooperation in the federal investigation should allow for a more lenient sentencing.
But Nike still seemed salty. "Nike suffered great economic harm due to Mr. Yamaguchi's and his co-conspirators' conduct. In addition to the excess manufacturing costs, Nike spent more than $397,000 investigating this criminal scheme, and bringing civil and criminal charges against Mr. Yamaguchi and his co-conspirators," argued Nike Director of Investigations Greg Fowler.
According to Fowler, it goes deeper than just the stolen shoes, it also puts the Swoosh's innovative concepts and competitive edge in jeopardy by exposing the brand's trade secrets.
When Yamaguchi was called to the stand, he expressed remorse for the theft and attributed it to his own greed and weakness. "I have no excuses. I don't have anyone else to blame but myself," Yamaguchi pleaded.
In the end, it's a small price to pay for a crime that cost Nike hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and legal fees.
[via Oregon Live]