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

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.

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.

17 PHOTOS
The Ball family -- LaVar, Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo
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The Ball family -- LaVar, Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 19: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after a foul against the Houston Rockets in the first half at Toyota Center on January 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 30: Tina Ball and LaVar Ball attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on December 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 07: LaMelo Ball attends a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on November 07, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
KAUNAS, LITHUANIA - JANUARY 12: LaMelo Ball and LiAngelo Ball in action during the 2017/2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 17 game between Zalgiris Kaunas and Unicaja Malaga at Zalgirio Arena on January 12, 2018 in Kaunas, Lithuania. (Photo by Alius Koroliovas/EB via Getty Images)
CHINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 02: (L-R) Lonzo Ball, LaMelo Ball, LiAngelo Ball and LaVar Ball attend Melo Ball's 16th Birthday on September 2, 2017 in Chino, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Crosswalk Productions )
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 23: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks to the media during a press conference at their training faculity in June 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 02: LaVar Ball holds courd during The Los Angeles Lakers game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on October 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: UCLA guard LiAngelo Ball (15) looks on during an college exhibition basketball game between the Cal State Los Angeles and the UCLA Bruins on November 1, 2017, at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07: LaMelo Ball, brother of Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers, walks off the court after shooting baskets as part of a promotion during a timeout of a 2017 Summer League game between the Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Clippers won 96-93 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 02: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the first half of a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on October 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: (L-R) Ice Cube and Lavar Ball compete in the Four Point Challenge during week eight of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Staples Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 01: (L-R) LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball attend the game between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington Huskies at Pauley Pavilion on March 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: LaVar Ball sits with his son LaMelo as they watch games during week eight of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Staples Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/BIG3/Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST and features a diverse lineup of guests that includes celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human-interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Monday, June 12 included Diane Keaton ('AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Diane Keaton'), Lonzo and LaVar Ball and musical guest Phoenix. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) LAVAR BALL, LONZO BALL, JIMMY KIMMEL
BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 22: Lonzo Ball the number two pick selected by the Los Angeles Lakers talks to the media at the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Lonzo Ball walks on stage with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: LaVar Ball, father of second overall pick Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers, speaks to media during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
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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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