Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Owner of a high-end sneaker business alleged to be at the center of and international money laundering scheme


IRS investigators say he bought athletic shoes and apparel from a major un-named sneaker company. Authorities said the contract forbid him from selling those items to other retailers or selling them outside the U.S.

But agents claim the business owner did both, selling them to a Chinese national who then resold the items -- at least $32 million worth -- over a five-year period.

Investigators said the group didn’t report cash payments over $10,000 like it was supposed to, lied to U.S. banks, and potentially broke federal anti-money laundering law.


Nike, which is headquartered in Oregon, is [the owner]’s largest collaborative partner. The brand regularly works with [his] stores on special-edition releases, the kind that are sought after and resold on the secondary market for well over their suggested retail price. This year alone, Nike plans to release 12 different sneakers in collaboration with [his] stores.


In response to the complaint, the Whitaker Group highlighted its work to help people of color tell their stories and said that work was under now attack