Update (11/21/2023): James Whitner and The Whitaker Group have released an official statement.
Jason Stoogenke of WSOC-TV has shaken the sneaker community, as reports of an international multimillion money laundering scheme surfaced Monday afternoon. The reports claim that federal agents have put a "Charolette businessman" at the center of this ongoing case.
Federal documents state that a Charlotte businessman who owns high-end sneaker and apparel businesses, including Social Status, is involved in a $32 million dollar money laundering scheme spanning over 5-years. The businessman, who has yet to be publicly named, is claimed to have violated the contract that forbids him from selling sneakers and apparel to other retailers as well as selling them outside of the United States.
IRS agents state that the businessman violated both conditions of the contract, selling inventory to a Chinese national who then resold sneakers and apparel over the course of five years. The 20-page court document states that money couriers were "directed to collect and assemble large amounts of USC [currency] from Chinese women... believed to be involved in prostitution..." where that money was then introduced into the banking system through deposits. Prosecutors claim that the operation involved at least 255 transactions of at least $10,000 in cash each, with a total exceeding $32 million. Additionally, investigators report that the businessman failed to report cash payments exceeding $10,000 to the IRS. The Charlotte businessman at the center of this case has yet to be charged.
First reported via WSOC-TV.