Zadeh Kicks Pleads Not Guilty to Fraud, Money Laundering Charges

Sneaker reseller Zadeh Kicks, real name Michael Malekzadeh, pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering today in Oregon court.

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Less than a week after Zadeh Kicks was formally charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and money laundering, the disgraced sneaker reseller made a virtual appearance in court today for his arraignment. 

Zadeh Kicks, real name Michael Malekzadeh, pleaded not guilty to all three counts today in Oregon court. Malekzadeh’s partner and chief financial officer of the resale business, Bethany Mockerman, who is facing a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, also pleaded not guilty.

Malekzadeh is potentially facing years of prison time and significant fines. The wire fraud count has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000, and three years of supervised release. The money laundering count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. The conspiracy to commit bank fraud charge could result in a maximum of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and five years of supervised release—potential penalties which also apply to Mockerman.

The Zadeh Kicks downfall began in May when the infamous reseller, who specialized in bulk preorders for in-demand sneakers, filed to dissolve his LLC and began scrubbing his social media presence. Word spread quickly on social media of customers who were now caught up in the Ponzi-like situation—one buyer told Complex he was down $500,000.

The government is not seeking to detain Malekzadeh while he awaits trial, however it is requesting that he surrender his passport. He is also being restricted from opening new accounts and lines of credit without pretrial service authorization. These pretrial sanctions have also been placed on Mockerman. 

In court, a laywer representing Malekzadeh was adamant they’d been forthcoming with requests thus far.

“We’ve been collaborating with and transparent with the government from day one providing assets,” his lawyer said.

Per Malekzadeh’s defense, his assets are being sold with the intention of their proceeds being turned over to the government. His 4-bedroom home in Eugene, Oregon, was listed for sale today for $1,795,000.

A trial date has been set for June 6, 2023.