Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
The FBI has launched an investigation into Big Baller Brand co-founder Gregory Alan Foster for alleged fraud, according to the Los Angeles Times‘ Tania Ganguli and Richard Winton.
Ganguli notes that the FBI investigation could be at least two months old:
Tania Ganguli @taniaganguli
@LAcrimes It’s unclear when exactly the investigation began, but one law enforcement source said it was at least two months old. The investigation is focused on the allegations included in the lawsuit filed by Lonzo Ball and Big Baller Brand earlier this month.
The lawsuit says Foster—who owns 16.3 percent of the company—made at least $1.5 million in unexplained cash withdrawals between 2016 and 2018. The lawsuit is seeking more than $2 million in damages.
Lonzo told ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne that he cut ties with Foster because he “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.”
According to Shelburne, Foster was sentenced to over seven years in prison back in 2002 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.” Per Shelburne, the pending lawsuit says Foster never informed the Ball family of his criminal history.
Foster’s relationship with the Ball family spans nearly a decade, dating back to Lonzo’s days in grade school. As Ganguli and Winton noted, LaVar Ball had previously called Foster his “brother,” while Lonzo suggested the business partner was “like my second dad.”