Stan Lee passed away last year, but the saga over the Marvel comic book legend’s final days continues.
Lee’s former business manager and caretaker, Keya Morgan, was arrested Saturday near Phoenix, Arizona, after being charged in Los Angeles County with alleged elder abuse, false imprisonment and grand theft involving the Marvel icon, authorities said.
Commercial Crimes Division detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department made the arrest in collaboration with Phoenix and Scottsdale police.
[Morgan is shown above with Lee]
Lee co-created Marvel characters, including Black Panther, Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Avengers.
Authorities said Morgan, aka Keyarash Mazhari, conned Lee out of some of his fortune even though he had no authority to act on the comic book legend’s behalf.
“Mr. Lee had a large estate worth over an estimated $50 million with no clear protection from opportunists who could insert themselves into his life and take control of it,” the LAPD said in a statement Saturday.
Morgan took control of Lee’s business affairs in February 2018 and allegedly hid the Hollywood legend away from his family and friends.
“Morgan removed Lee from his Hollywood Hills residence to a secured Beverly Hills condominium during the late night hours of June 8, 2018,” the LAPD said.
He was charged by Los Angeles County prosecutors earlier this month with one felony count of false imprisonment of an elder adult, three felony counts of grand theft from an elder or dependent adult, and one elder abuse misdemeanor count. He remained at large until this weekend.
Morgan was also arrested by the LAPD last year for allegedly making false 911 calls “to further deceive Lee into believing he was in danger and needed to be moved from his home to a more secured condominium where Morgan had more control over Lee,” police said Saturday.
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The LAPD further claimed that Morgan pocketed more than $262,000 from autograph signing sessions Lee did in May 2018.
Lee’s attorneys previously filed documents in Los Angeles County claiming Morgan mishandled more than $5 million of Lee’s money.
The Marvel icon’s wife Joan Lee died in 2017 after 70 years of marriage. His daughter filed a request for a restraining order last year and accused Morgan of manipulating her mentally declining dad.
Morgan’s attorney, Alex Kessel, has said the charges are unwarranted and his client never abused or took advantage of Lee.
Kessel said in a statement to The Associated Press Saturday that he had been in contact with prosecutors to arrange for Morgan to surrender on Tuesday.
“It is unfortunate that the DA and police did not honor our commitment to surrender next week and arrested him,” Kessel said.
Morgan’s bail has been set at $300,000. He will be extradited to Los Angeles to face the charges.
Lee died at age 95 in November 2018.