Lak­ers' Lonzo Ball sues Big Baller co-founder al­leg­ing fraud

Sun.Star Pampanga - - LIFESTYLE! -

LOS AN­GE­LES (AP) — Los An­ge­les Lak­ers point guard Lonzo Ball and his com­pany Big Baller Brand are su­ing co-founder Alan Fos­ter, al­leg­ing he con­spired to steal mil­lions of dol­lars from the shoe and cloth­ing line.

Fos­ter con­cocted “a fraud­u­lent scheme” to en­rich him­self with com­pany money and also buy prop­erty in Ethiopia, ac­cord­ing to the law­suit filed Tuesday in Los An­ge­les Su­pe­rior Court. It seeks more than $2 mil­lion in dam­ages.

A num­ber for Fos­ter and in­for­ma­tion about his at­tor­neys could not be found Wed­nes­day.

Fos­ter mis­han­dled tax fil­ings and failed to dis­trib­ute profits to Ball, the com­plaint al­leges. Ball, who owns 51% of Big Baller Brand, has re­moved Fos­ter as a man­ager of the com­pany.

The law­suit ac­cuses Fos­ter of mak­ing un­ex­plained cash with­drawals to­tal­ing at least $1.5 mil­lion be­tween 2016 and 2018. The suit says when con­fronted, Fos­ter was unable to ac­count for the missing funds and threat­ened “to pub­licly dis­sem­i­nate false and mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion” about the Ball fam­ily.

Ball said in a state­ment last month that he had re­cently learned Fos­ter was a con­victed felon. Fos­ter hid his crim­i­nal past from his part­ners and pre­sented him­self as an ex­pe­ri­enced busi­ness man­ager who could help max­i­mize profits, ac­cord­ing to this week’s court fil­ing.

Fos­ter was con­victed in 2002 of de­fraud­ing more than 70 peo­ple of nearly $4 mil­lion, ESPN re­ported last month. He was forced to pay back most of that money and was sen­tenced to seven years in prison. Fos­ter served five years but vi­o­lated the terms of his pro­ba­tion and spent an­other five months be­hind bars in 2009, the re­port said.

Fos­ter, a long­time friend of Ball’s fa­ther LaVar, co-founded Big Baller Brand in 2016.

Lonzo Ball, 21, has been out since Jan. 19 with an an­kle in­jury and is ex­pected to miss the re­main­der of the season.

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