Keya Morgan, the former business partner of comic book writer Stan Lee, has been charged with elder abuse.
According to court documents filed in Los Angeles last Friday, the 43-year-old is facing one felony count of false imprisonment of an elder adult, three felony counts of theft, embezzlement, forgery or fraud against an elder adult and one misdemeanor count of elder abuse.
A judge has also issued a warrant for his arrest.
The charges pertain to incidents which occurred midway through last year – just months before Lee passed away in November at the age of 95.
Despite their 52 age-gap, Morgan and Lee had been firm friends for several years, and became closer following the death of Lee’s beloved wife Joan in 2017.
However, things appeared to sour partway through last year when Morgan was arrested on suspicion of making a false police report outside Lee’s home on May 30.
Officials were performing a welfare check on Lee that day, when Morgan arrived at the residence and security guards refused to let him in.
He allegedly called 911 to report a burglary in progress.
Later that evening, Morgan called 911 again, accusing a security guard at the home of assaulting him and Lee with a deadly weapon, according to NBC.
The following month, Morgan was accused of moving Lee out of his home at midnight on June 8 and taking him to an apartment in order to isolate him from his family, Variety reported at the time.
The incidents prompted Morgan to become embroiled in a nasty spat with Lee’s only surviving daughter J.C., aged 69.
While the pair were once friends, Lee’s legal team filed a restraining order against Morgan following the false burglary report and the removal of Lee from his home.
The restraining order was reportedly spearheaded by J.C.
The order further accused Morgan of mishandling more than $5 million of Lee’s money.
Lee’s legal team alleged that Morgan had ‘exploited’ his close relationship with the iconic comic book writer in order to ’embezzle artwork, cash, and other assets’.
Morgan strenuously denied the allegations, telling TMZ: ‘This is a witch hunt by his daughter and her lawyer against me because she cannot stand the fact Stan likes me so much.
‘I will 100% prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the allegations against me are false. And I will definitely take legal action against anyone who is making up these lies. The truth will come out.’
However, the restraining order requested by Lee’s family against Morgan was granted in August.
He was legally required to stay away from both Lee and J.C.
It is not believed that Morgan was present at the time of Lee’s death three months later.
The tumultuous legal battle marred the end of Lee’s life, at a time when he suffered from severe hearing and vision impairment.
He also reportedly exhibited short-term memory impairment, impaired judgment, and an inability to resist undue influence.
The Marvel Comics legend – who co-created Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor and The Hulk – left behind a reported fortune between $50 and $70 million.