Lonzo, LaVar Ball countersued by former partner Alan Foster


Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball and his father, LaVar, have been countersued by their former business partner, Alan Foster, for fraudulent concealment and breach of contract.

According to legal documents obtained by The Blast, Foster alleges that LaVar Ball embezzled more than $2.6 million from Big Baller Brand and other companies associated with the Ball family, including Ball Sports Group, to fund his own extravagant lifestyle.

Foster states that his lawsuit “seeks to set the record straight, clear his name, expose LaVar’s scheme to cover up his theft of over $2.6 million of BBB and BSG’s money, and hold LaVar and Lonzo to their contractual obligations.”

In April, Lonzo Ball filed suit against Foster for damages of more than $2 million, plus interest, alleging that Foster “conspired to embezzle millions of dollars and then divert those funds for his personal use, including to acquire assets in Ethiopia.”

In court documents obtained by ESPN, Ball alleged that Foster, shortly after his release from prison, “embarked on his plan to target Ball and his family” and then “fleeced them of millions of dollars” by “creating a variety of corporate entities in which he gave himself ownership interests and managerial control.”

ESPN reported on March 22 that Ball severed ties with Foster over concerns that the longtime family friend has a criminal past and also had not adequately accounted for the whereabouts of roughly $1.5 million from Ball’s personal and business accounts.

Before the March 22 article, Foster initially offered to arrange an in-person meeting with ESPN alongside Ball’s father at the Ball estate in Chino Hills, California. But repeated subsequent attempts via email, phone calls and text messages to reach Foster for his perspective were met with no response. On March 21, Foster suggested meeting in person at the Ball estate the following day, but then later that day, he instead suggested the middle of the following week because he was “super busy.” Foster otherwise offered no comment.

The Los Angeles Times, citing two law enforcement sources, reported on April 24 that the FBI had opened an investigation into whether Foster defrauded the Ball family out of millions of dollars.

In the lawsuit Foster filed late Wednesday night, according to the Blast, Foster claims that he “loaned to LaVar, [his wife] Tina and Lonzo hundreds of thousands of dollars from his personal savings for various things, including over $130,000 on Lonzo’s living expenses.”

“During Lonzo’s first semester at UCLA, he complained to LaVar and Alan that his dorm room had poor air conditioning and he hated UCLA’s meal plan,” the suit alleges.

“Lonzo and LaVar asked Alan if he would rent an apartment or condominium for Lonzo, pay for Lonzo’s personal trainer … including furnishings and laptops. Plus, pay for Lonzo’s food bills.”

Foster’s suit also claims that he brokered an $80,000 sale of Lonzo’s college uniforms and shoes, the proceeds of which went to the down payment on a Mercedes Benz G-Wagon for Ball.

In 2002, Foster was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering as part of a scheme that defrauded 70 investors of $4 million, according to federal court records obtained by ESPN. Foster also was ordered to pay $3.7 million in restitution to victims.

Lonzo Ball’s lawsuit alleged that Foster never informed him or the Ball family of his criminal past. It also alleged that months before meeting the family, Foster had his parole revoked — and was sentenced to an additional five months in prison — because he could not show he was compliant with the conditions of his parole to “not engage in any business involving investment, asset management or protection, or any other business involving the protection of funds.”

Ball also alleged that Foster arranged for at least eight loans with financing fees of nearly $950,000 to be taken out by Ball or another entity owned by Ball, Family Always Matters LLC, from “non-traditional lenders” that “included exorbitant financing charges that were paid in whole or in part to Foster without Ball’s knowledge.”

When Ball confronted Foster about these concerns over his conduct, the suit alleged that Foster responded by “threatening to publicly disseminate false and misleading information concerning Ball and his family.”

Source : ESPN