While many of the details of what went down the summer before Alison (Sasha Pieterse) died are still a mystery, one thing that has become clear during Pretty Little Liars Season 3B is that she was blackmailing Byron Montgomery (Chad Lowe) for a ton of money.

When she “appeared” to Aria (Lucy Hale) in Season 3, Episode 16: "Misery Loves Company," Ali claimed that she had been desperate for the money. But why was a high school girl so desperate for cash that she resorted to blackmailing her best friend's father? We have a few theories.

1. To protect herself from "A". We know "A" seems to have targeted Ali (as seen in Season 2, Episode 13: ”The First Secret”). Perhaps Ali needed all of that money to try and track "A" down. Or perhaps "A" was blackmailing her for cash.

2. To pay off someone else. "A" isn't the only one who potentially had it out for Ali. For example, there's the N.A.T. club her other infamous enemy. We think Ian (Ryan Merriman) was crazy enough that he might have blackmailed or threatened Ali into giving him money.

3. To create the "A" team. Alternatively, there's the theory that Ali is really the one in charge of the "A" team, at least at this point. If so, maybe she needed the money to get her network of evil stalkers up and running. Secret lairs aren't free!

4. To fake her death. Related to several of these other theories, it's possible Ali faked her death, either to protect herself or to have more time to be evil (or both). If this was her plan, she might have needed the cash to start her new life as someone who isn’t dead.

5. She didn't. One thing we know: Ali lies. It's possible she didn't need the money at all. Maybe she only blackmailed Byron to enjoy the smug satisfaction of having power over another person. And of course, some extra cash to fund her misdeeds wouldn’t hurt either.

Why do you think Ali needed the money? Let us know in the comments below.

Find more Pretty Little Liars spoilers here.

Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.