There’s a bit of drama coming out of the Big Baller Brand.
According to ESPN, Lonzo Ball severed ties with longtime family friend and BBB executive Alan Foster after $1.5 million of Lonzo’s money went unaccounted for.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball has severed ties with a co-founder of Big Baller Brand over concerns that the longtime family friend has a criminal past and also has not adequately accounted for the whereabouts of roughly $1.5 million from Ball’s personal and business accounts.
Ball told ESPN that he believes that Alan Foster, a friend of Lonzo’s father for almost a decade who owns 16.3 percent of Big Baller Brand, had “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.”
In an October email sent to Lonzo and his father under the subject line “Urgent – $1.5 million Dollars Missing,” Lukanga wrote that he had been unsuccessful in having Foster “track down where $1.5 MILLION DOLLARS IN CASH HAS [gone].” Lukanga wrote that he had repeatedly asked Foster about transactions totaling that amount, but Foster “won’t show any invoices or documentation of these expenses. He won’t even give me the number to the vendors he says he paid. I’VE NEVER SEEN A COMPANY OPERATE BY WITHDRAWING MILLIONS IN CASH … Only you and Alan can withdraw cash and I know you didn’t take out $1.5 million dollars … SO WHERE IS THE MONEY???”
Apparently Lonzo was suspicious of Foster for some time but allowed his father to “manage the situation”.
According to documents and emails reviewed by ESPN, questions about Foster’s business decisions and communication were first raised last fall to Lonzo and LaVar by Lonzo’s financial adviser. That adviser, Humble Lukanga of Life Line Financial Group, alleged in an October email that Lonzo’s personal taxes and Big Baller’s taxes could not be completed on time due to an inability to account for the whereabouts of $1.5 million.
Sources close to the Ball family told ESPN that Lonzo expressed his concerns about Foster to his father several times over the past few months but deferred to LaVar to manage the situation.
It wasn’t until this week, the same sources said, that LaVar fully reviewed the email warnings and documents from Lukanga, as he had been traveling overseas with his younger sons in the fall. The sources described LaVar as “stunned” when the emails and documents were read to him. LaVar declined comment but issued a statement to ESPN calling the situation “devastating.”
It is worth noting that Foster had a pretty shady past before meeting the Balls.
Foster met the Ball family not long after being released from prison for his role in the 2002 financial scheme. Foster was already facing the financial crimes charges when he was found guilty in Los Angeles County on a 1999 citation for carrying a concealed handgun without a license. And in September 2009, while still under probation for the financial scheme conviction, Foster was arrested on a felony-level violation of his supervised release that is not specified in court documents. He was sentenced to five months in prison and was released in February 2010, which would have been about a year before he met the Ball family.
Of the financial scheme, Joseph Zwicker, the lead prosecutor in the case, told ESPN: “They targeted African-Americans that they got to know through churches and by other means. And they made various misrepresentations to them about their ability to return large sums on investments, which were false. They admitted that.”