Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball has filed suit against Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster, alleging that the Ball family’s former business associate sought to embezzle millions of dollars to enrich himself.
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Ball is seeking more than $2 million in damages and interest, according to court documents filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by multiple outlets. Foster is accused of conspiring to steal millions from the Ball family for his own personal dealings, including a bid to purchase property in Ethiopia.
The suit alleges that Foster mishandled tax filings and took out several loans in Ball’s name, with financing fees that amounted to roughly $950,000, the Los Angeles Times reported. He is also accused of failing to adequately account for $1.5 million that disappeared from Ball’s accounts between 2016 and 2018.
Ball also claims that Foster pushed him to pass on a deal with an unnamed sports apparel brand, alleging that he “persuaded Ball that it would be in his best financial interest to form his own company and his own brand of apparel and merchandise rather than aligning himself with established brands that had expressed substantial interest in signing Ball to lucrative endorsement deals."
Ball and his outspoken father, LaVar, established the Big Baller Brand after failing to reach terms on an endorsement deal with Nike. The company manufactured sneakers and other apparel.
Foster has yet to comment on the lawsuit. ESPN reported that he was sentenced to prison in 2002 after pleading guilty to charges of mail fraud and money laundering.
The 2nd overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Ball averaged nearly 10 points and five assists per game for the Lakers during the 2018-19 season. He is currently sitting out with an ankle injury.