Lonzo Ball is reportedly suing Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster for fraud after allegations that he embezzled $1.5 million dollars. The newest revelation in the scandal has been reported by TMZ Sports. Among other issues, Ball is reportedly alleging that Foster threatened to release false information to the public in an attempt to expose the Ball family after he was confronted by Lonzo.
Original story follows:
Lonzo Ball has cut ties with a family friend who co-founded the Big Baller Brand over multiple concerns, according to a report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Paula Lavigne.
Alan Foster has been a close friend of LaVar Ball for years, but Lonzo, who has been shut down for the rest of the season due to injury, told ESPN that the business partner who owns a 16.3 percent share of the company “used his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself. As a result, I have decided to sever all ties with Alan, effective immediately.”
According to Shelburne, LaVar Ball credits Foster for giving him the idea to establish BBB as a shoe and apparel company rather than making an arrangement with notable powerhouses like Nike or Adidas.
According to the report, concerns about Foster were first raised after the family’s business manager informed them of the inability to account for $1.5 million during the filing of their taxes. Lonzo warned his father but it took months before LaVar finally reviewed the issue. It seems as though that money was directly tied to the family’s Facebook reality show, “Ball in the Family.”
He issued the following statement to ESPN:
“I’ve always believed in the best in people. Regretfully, I put my complete trust in Alan Foster to manage my son’s business affairs,” LaVar said. “At the end of the day, family comes first, and I support Zo wholeheartedly. Together, we will make this right.”
Foster had a criminal past, having served jail time for money laundering, a fact that the Ball family was apparently unaware of until a reporter asked Lonzo about the matter.
Lonzo, who holds a 51 percent stake in his company, continued in his statement to ESPN:
“This has been a very difficult decision as I had a great deal of love and respect for Alan,” Lonzo said. “But the time has come for me to take responsibility for my own career both on and off the court.”
While the Ball family is saying they have severed ties with Foster, it’s not clear how that will impact them from a business standpoint. Foster owns a 16.3 percent stake in BBB, just 0.1 percent fewer than LaVar and the same as Lonzo’s mother, Tina.
The Lakers have not issued a statement on the matter but according to ESPN’s report, they had previously expressed concerns over Foster due to several complaints filed to the Better Business Bureau which has given the company a failing grade.