It only took the Ball family a day to fire back after Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster filed a lawsuit alleging that it was actually them embezzling money from the business.
Foster’s counter-suit was in response to legal action taken by the family alleging that he stole $1.5 million from them before family breadwinner Lonzo Ball cut ties with him. The FBI has since reportedly opened an investigation into Foster, who spent five years in prison more than a decade ago for running a fraudulent stock scheme.
Ball family responds to Alan Foster’s counter-suit
The Ball family’s statement notes Foster’s criminal past, and vows to continue its legal pressure on him.
"Alan Foster’s claims are not only unfounded and devoid of any truth, but are an egregious attempt to turn the attention away from the millions of dollars that he embezzled from the Ball Family and the Ball Family Business.”
"Not only will LaVar Ball and his family continue to vigorously pursue their civil action against Foster seeking civil damages, but will also continue to cooperate with law enforcement in order to seek justice for his egregious actions."
"The Ball family are all united in relentlessly pursuing Foster for his grave injustices, and will always fight to protect the respected Ball family name, despite Foster’s futile attempt to defile it."
Foster had been a family friend of the Balls before Lonzo was even playing at UCLA and worked as the quiet business manager while LaVar Ball was the very public face of the family. It’s still unclear if LaVar knew of Foster’s past convictions on mail fraud and money laundering charges when he handed him the keys to the family finances.
The Ball family trusted Foster enough that he had a hand in every major business decision, from the founding of Big Baller Brand to LaMelo Ball enrolling in the Spire Institute. The trust was strong enough that the family even reportedly listened to him when he told them to disregard warnings from another financial adviser about the missing $1.5 million.
Foster accused LaVar of embezzling $2.5 million
Half a year after the Ball family filed its lawsuit against Foster alleging that he had used fraud to take money from Big Baller Brand, of which he reportedly owned 16.3 percent, Foster responded with a big accusation of his own.
Foster’s counter-suit reportedly alleges that LaVar embezzled more than $2.5 million from his family-owned companies to “fund his own extravagant lifestyle.”
He also accused LaVar of purposefully using his three sons to put the spotlight on himself:
"In early 2016, in furtherance of LaVar’s intense desire to share in, or rise above, the glory and spotlight of his sons, LaVar approached Alan and asked for his business guidance on how to monopolize and gain fortune and fame from the names and likenesses of his three sons,” the lawsuit says, via The Blast. “In response, Alan suggested that the two men brand the ‘Ball’ family name in order to create basketball and entertainment-related businesses. LaVar loved Alan’s idea and wanted to make sure that he was the biggest star in the family, notwithstanding the fact that he was broke, had no savings, poor credit and zero business acumen."
Of course, in a battle of million-dollar lawsuits alleging fraud and embezzlement, it’s usually questionable to the one filed by a convicted white-collar criminal as credible rather than the party that has invited an investigation from the FBI. We’ll see where this legal battle takes the Ball family, as Big Baller Brand stays on ice for the foreseeable future.
More from Yahoo Sports: