Report: FBI investigating LaVar Ball's former business partner Alan Foster for fraud

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

LaVar Ball and the Ball family have already cut ties with former business manager Alan Foster after $1.5 million went missing, with Big Baller Brand majority owner Lonzo Ball also filing a lawsuit against the ex-family friend. Now, the FBI is getting involved in the case.

Federal agents are at least two months into an investigation against Foster over the Ball family’s claim that he defrauded them of millions, according to the Los Angeles Times. The family is reportedly cooperating with the investigation.

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What happened with Alan Foster and the Ball family

The co-founder of Big Baller Brand and a Ball family friend going back since Lonzo was in middle school, Foster was the quiet operator behind LaVar’s highly visible leadership.

Nearly every major family decision — Lonzo signing with Big Baller Brand out of college, LaMelo’s enrollment at the Spire Institute, etc — would have had Foster’s fingerprints on them. As the Times reports, Lonzo once described Foster as “like my second dad.”

Between the children’s basketball careers and their Big Baller Brand business venture, the Ball family placed an enormous amount of trust in Foster, who reportedly owns 16.3 percent of BBB. When a different financial manager reportedly alerted the family of the missing $1.5 million in October, the family reportedly listened to Foster’s urges to distance himself from that adviser.

One incident possibly indicating Foster’s machinations was when LaMelo’s high school team pulled out of a tournament in January after Foster reportedly demanded a $10,000 “appearance fee” for the young star under the table.

Alan Foster (left) is accused of defrauding the ball family of $1.5 million. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Crosswalk Productions )
Alan Foster (left) is accused of defrauding the ball family of $1.5 million. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Crosswalk Productions )

Eventually, Lonzo soured on Foster, telling ESPN that Foster “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."

Now cut out of the business he helped found, facing a lawsuit from Ball and an FBI investigation, Foster’s whereabouts are currently unknown, according to the Times. Also reportedly unknown is if LaVar Ball knew of Foster’s white-collar criminal past when they began working again.

Alan Foster’s criminal past

Per the Times, Foster was convicted in 2002 of running a fraudulent stock scheme that yielded $3.735 million and served more than five years in prison. He and his partner, Steven Woods, reportedly pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering.

The pair’s scheme reportedly consisted of promising returns of up to 25 percent every 90 days and falsely claimed that NBA players like Robert Horry, David Robinson and Avery Johnson were investors. Rather than invest the money they received from 75 investors, the money was apparently spent on housing payments and luxury car leases instead.

Foster reportedly spent five more months in prison after his initial release for violating probation. Once released again, he soon met the Ball family and would soon get a chance to really make money off an NBA player.

It’s unclear if LaVar Ball knew of Foster’s past when he handed him the keys to the Ball family business.

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