Report: FBI Investigating Ball's Family Former Business Manager


BASKET-HKG-NBA-UCLA-CHN-CRIME

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An FBI official said today she could neither confirm nor deny a report the agency is investigating whether the longtime business manager of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball and his family defrauded them of millions of dollars.

The Los Angeles Times, citing two unnamed law enforcement sources, reported the investigation is focused on allegations included in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court this month by Ball and Big Baller Brand, the family's athletic apparel company.

Laura Eimiller of the FBI said she could not confirm or deny The Times' report.

The suit alleges Gregory Alan Foster took more than $1.5 million out of the company's bank accounts and accepted “substantial undisclosed referral fees” from at least eight loans he arranged on behalf of the company, according to The Times.

Foster was a co-founder of Big Baller Brand, started in part by Lonzo's father, LaVar, who sought to capitalize on the fame his three sons generated while playing for Chino Hills High.

Foster, who owns 16.3% of Big Baller Brand, was removed as a manager of the company in March, according to the lawsuit. The 52-year-old Foster could not be reached for comment. His whereabouts are unknown.

The Ball family and its financial team are cooperating with federal investigators, The Times reported.

It is unclear when authorities opened their investigation of Foster, but one law enforcement source said the investigation is at least two months old, The Times reported.

Foster was convicted of running a fraudulent stock scheme in 2002 that deprived investors of $3.735 million and served more than five years in prison, The Times reported. He and a business partner, Steven Woods, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering, according to court records.


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