Ex-employees sued by Nike indicted on federal charges

Former Nike employee Kyle Yamaguchi allegedly sold stolen sneaker prototypes online. (solecollector.com)
Former Nike employee Kyle Yamaguchi allegedly sold stolen sneaker prototypes online. (solecollector.com)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Two former Nike workers accused of stealing prototype shoes from the Beaverton campus have been indicted on federal charges.

Tung Ho was well known in the sneaker world. (Tumblr)
Tung Ho was well known in the sneaker world. (Tumblr)

According to federal court documents, Ho was ordering and then stealing one-of-a-kind sample shoes.

Yamaguchi acted as a middleman, the documents allege, and then sold the shoes to a Florida buyer Jason Keating.

Yamaguchi and Ho allegedly made $15,000 selling some of them on eBay and sending others to a Keating.

Investigators estimate the shoes sold for between $1,000 and $20,000 for a pair.

“It’s clear that it’s a large operation where they’re turning a lot of product, stealing a lot of product and again clearly just for the money,” said Washington County Sheriff’s spokesperson Bob Ray.

When police raided Ho’s home, they found more than 1,900 pairs of shoes and a large, undisclosed amount of cash.

Tung Ho, who was well known in the sneaker world, sold Nike prototypes online (Nike)
Tung Ho, who was well known in the sneaker world, sold Nike prototypes online (Nike)

In addition to the criminal charges, Nike is also suing the two former employees.

In the lawsuit filed in April, Nike said Yamaguchi and Ho lied to them, saying the shoes would be used for marketing purposes and then tricked the company into manufacturing inventory for their scheme.

According to the lawsuit, the former employees also recruited their significant others, Denise Yee, who also worked at Nike, and Shu-Chu Yamaguchi, to help.

Nike asked for a jury trial and damages that include the profits from the unapproved shoe sales.

Keating was arrested in connection with the case in April.

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