Smart Motors Allen Foster

Allen Foster, former general manager of Smart Motors, at Smart Motors' showroom in 2013.

The former general manager of Smart Motors, who was under federal indictment for fraud and money laundering and was being sued by Smart for alleged embezzlement, died last week, according to lawyers for Smart.

In a letter Monday to Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess, attorney Megan Senatori told Niess that Allen Foster died on Friday. An earlier letter, written to Niess by a Foster family friend on Thursday, states that Foster, 54, of Sun Prairie, was taken from his home to a hospital early Thursday and was unresponsive.

The cause of Foster’s death was not immediately made available.

Maya Longfield, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Madison, said prosecutors had not been notified of Foster’s death and that his case would not be closed until his death was confirmed.

Senatori wrote to Niess that Smart’s lawyers were in the process of evaluating the impact of Foster’s death on their case and would provide an update to the court soon.

In September 2016, Smart sued Foster, accusing him of systematically stealing money and services worth about $3 million over a period of more than 10 years. Foster had resigned from Smart Motors in June 2016.

About a year later, in October 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Foster on 12 counts of wire fraud and eight counts of money laundering, and federal agents arrested him on Oct. 15. The indictment states that the alleged scheme involved the creation of bank accounts for a shell company that Foster used to deposit money taken from Smart over a 12-year period.

A trial on the criminal charges was scheduled to take place in May, followed in October by a trial in Smart’s lawsuit against Foster, which was scheduled to last three weeks.

Ed Treleven is the courts reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.