Former business partner of Marvel's Stan Lee arrested on charges of financial elder abuse

PHOTO: In this Jan. 4, 2011 file photo, Comic book creator Stan Lee strikes the Spiderman pose as he poses after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.PlayAP Photo/Chris Pizzello
WATCH Stan Lee's former business partner arrested

A former business partner of the late comic book legend Stan Lee was arrested on Saturday in Arizona on an outstanding arrest warrant for alleged elder abuse.

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Keya Morgan was arrested by Phoenix and Scottsdale police and will eventually be extradited back to Los Angeles, where he was charged earlier this month with false imprisonment, grand theft from an elder and elder abuse.

Lee, the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics and creator of superheroes including Spider-Man, Iron Man and Thor, died at the age of 95 in November 2018. He passed away of pre-existing health conditions, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department.

PHOTO: Keya Morgan was arrested on elder abuse charges in connection to the late Marvel Comic co-creator Stan Lee on May 25, 2019. Hand Out
Keya Morgan was arrested on elder abuse charges in connection to the late Marvel Comic co-creator Stan Lee on May 25, 2019.

The charges stem from an elder abuse estate investigation that began in March 2018, according to the statement, which said that "it became clear that no one had clear legal authority to act on Mr. Lee’s behalf; yet, Morgan exerted his control and influence over Lee."

That investigation led police to discover that Morgan had allegedly stolen over $262,000 earned from business transactions including autograph signing sessions, the statement said.

Additionally, Morgan had allegedly deceived Lee in June 2018, making Lee believe he was in danger and removing Lee from his Hollywood Hills home to move him into a condominium in Beverly Hills, police said.

Shortly after that move, Lee was removed from Morgan’s control when Morgan was arrested for "generating false 911 calls" in May 2018 as part of an alleged effort to further Lee’s belief that he was in danger.

PHOTO: In this Jan. 4, 2011 file photo, Comic book creator Stan Lee strikes the Spiderman pose as he poses after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
In this Jan. 4, 2011 file photo, Comic book creator Stan Lee strikes the Spiderman pose as he poses after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.

Morgan’s attorney, Alex Kessel, has denied any abuse or exploitation ever taking place against Lee, according to The Associated Press. He told the AP that there had been an arrangement with prosecutors 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 told the AP in an email.

Morgan’s bail was set for $300,000.