Former Nike Employees Indicted For Multi-Million Dollar Sneaker Theft Scheme
Two former Nike employees and a shoe collector in Florida have been indicted on federal charges for stealing and selling hundred of limited-edition sneakers.
The Oregonian reports that a federal grand jury indicted Jason M. Keating, Kyle K. Yamaguchi and Tung W. Ho on Wednesday (July 9) on charges of conspiracy to transport, receive and sell stolen goods.
At the moment, the sneaker collector, Keating, 35, who was also charged with receipt of stolen property, is the only person who has been arrested.
The goods in question were sample sneakers and , which go for big bucks in the sneaker market due to their rarity. According to court docs, from 2006 to 2014 Yamaguchi, who was a promo product manager for Nike Basketball between 2006 and 2012, and Ho ordered the shoes from Nike factories in China, then sold them to Keating, who in turn sold them small businesses around the country in states like California, Florida and New York. Ho was actually Yamaguchi’s replacement at Nike before he was canned in March in relation to the case.
But these two were clearly sloppy with their alleged scheme:
Yamaguchi, 33, of Portland, kept the sneakers he ordered or sold them to other people, according to court documents. Once he left Nike, he bought sneakers ordered by Ho, 36, of Portland, and then resold them to Keating and other buyers for 20 percent commission of the total sale, the indictment said.
Yamaguchi resigned from Nike in 2012 to start a sunglasses business called LOOK/SEE. Nike refers to sample shoes internally as Look See products. Yamaguchi displayed glasses at sneaker conventions next to the rare footwear he obtainedwhile working at Nike, the indictment said.
Yamaguchi played a hand in selecting Ho as his replacement and advised him to hide the large amount of rare sneaker orders by billing them to different cost centers in Nike’s system, the indictment said.
Back in April, Nike filed a lawsuit against Ho, Yamaguchi, Keating, Yamaguchi’s wife and another ex-employee to get back losses from their unauthorized sneaker sales.
The struggle is very, very real for all the parties involved. Check out Keating’s mugshot on the flip.
Photo: Nike Inc.