Comic book industry legend Stan Lee is suing a former business manager for fraud and elder abuse in a suit that alleges such egregious claims of abuse as extracting and selling vials of the Marvel Comics icon’s blood as “collectibles” in Las Vegas.
Lee, whom many consider the godfather of the modern-day superhero, was grieving the death of his wife of 70 years, Joan B. Lee, in late 2017 when he became the target of “unscrupulous businessmen, sycophants and opportunists” who sought to take advantage of his despondency.
A suit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges Jerardo Olivarez is once such opportunist. A former business associate of Lee’s daughter, the suit claims Olivarez took control of Lee’s professional and financial affairs — and began enriching himself through various schemes and bogus enterprises.
Within days of Joan Lee’s death, Olivarez and others fired Stan Lee’s banker of 26 years and his long-time attorney, and transferred $4.6 million out of Lee’s bank account without authorization, according to the lawsuit.
Under the pretext of checking on Lee’s well-being, Olivarez convinced the grieving man to sign over power of attorney and appoint Olivarez’s own lawyer, Uri Litvak, as Lee’s attorney.
Lee was duped into donating $300,000 to a bogus charity, the Hands of Respect, which Olivarez claimed was a non-profit organization working to promote racial harmony, the suit claims. The company is actually registered as a for-profit merchandising company.