Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball is suing Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster for more than $2 million plus interest in damages, according to court documents obtained by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne which were filed Tuesday and are expected to be processed on Wednesday.
Lonzo alleges Foster "conspired to embezzle millions of dollars and then divert those funds for his personal use, including to acquire assets in Ethiopia."
Foster allegedly "persuaded Ball that it would be in his best financial interest to form his own company and his own brand of apparel and merchandise rather than aligning himself with established brands" after Lonzo declared for the NBA draft in 2017.
His plan allegedly included "creating a variety of corporate entities in which he gave himself ownership interests and managerial control" in order to "directly and indirectly funnel substantial amounts of Ball family money to himself."
The family also claims to have had no knowledge of Foster's criminal past. He spent seven years in prison starting in 2002 for mail fraud and money laundering, a scheme that defrauded 70 investors of $4 million. Foster was ordered to pay $3.7 million in restitution as a result.
Shelburne and ESPN's Paula Lavigne first reported on March 22 that Lonzo was severing all ties with Foster, who holds a 16.3 percent ownership stake in BBB. An October email from Lonzo's financial adviser initially raised suspicions when it stated that both his personal taxes and the company's taxes couldn't be completed due to $1.5 million that was unaccounted for.
When confronted about the missing money, Foster allegedly threatened to "publicly disseminate false and misleading information concerning Ball and his family."
Lonzo has begun the process of distancing himself from all things BBB, including covering up a tattoo of the brand's logo that was previously on his arm. His father, LaVar, said he told the family about his intention to shut down the company, which led to Lonzo getting new ink.
Lonzo has also teased on social media that he'll be joining Nike, although that hasn't been confirmed.
His sophomore year with the Lakers came to a premature halt after a season-ending ankle injury suffered in January.