This is one accusation comic book legend Stan Lee has made against his former manager
The latest proof that elder financial fraud could affect anyone comes courtesy of 95-year-old comic book legend Stan Lee. The creator of such notable characters as Spider-Man, Thor, and the Hulk recently filed a lawsuit against Jerardo Olivarez, his former manager and a former business associate of Lee’s daughter. In addition to fraud and misappropriation of his name and likeness, Lee has accused Olivarez of elder financial abuse.
Lee’s lawsuit – which was filed in April – calls Olivarez one of several “unscrupulous businessmen, sycophants and opportunists” who tried to take advantage of Lee after his wife Joan died in 2017. The suit alleges that shortly after Joan’s death, Olivarez coerced Lee into firing his long-time banker and lawyer and signing power of attorney over to him. He also convinced Lee to hire his own son as Lee’s attorney.
According to the lawsuit, Olivarez allegedly transferred $4.6 million from Lee’s bank account without any authorization. Lee also alleges that he unknowingly bought a condo in West Hollywood for Olivarez for $850,000. On top of that, “through a series of complicated wire transfers,” the suit alleges, $1.4 million just disappeared from accounts held by Lee.
In addition, Lee claims he donated $300,000 to a charity called Hands of Respect that Olivarez said was a nonprofit organization, but is actually a for-profit merchandising company.
“Olivarez misled Lee and the public into thinking that it was a caring non-profit charity to ease the racial tension when in reality, Hands of Respect was just a scheme to appropriate funds from Lee and the public to enrich Olivarez,” the suit alleges.
But this wasn’t the extent of Olivarez’s greed. The suit also contends that he told a nurse to extract several vials of blood from Lee. This blood was allegedly later sold in Las Vegas by Hands of Respect for thousands of dollars.
“There are shops in Las Vegas selling Stan Lee’s blood,” said Keya Morgan, a friend of the family. “They’re stamping his blood inside the Black Panther comic books and they sell them for $500 each.”
In addition to an accounting of his funds, Lee is seeking restitution for the money he lost.
Not the first time – and won’t be the last time
The Stan Lee case has shed light on the seriousness of elder financial fraud, but it’s not the first instance of a celebrity potentially being a victim. In 2011, then 90-year-old Mickey Rooney filed restraining orders against his stepchildren, accusing them of verbal and emotional abuse and stealing more than $400,000 from him.
In 2005, when $2 million went missing, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor filed a lawsuit against her daughter. In 2015, eight people were found guilty of financially exploiting L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt out of millions.
Whether you’re a celebrity with millions in the bank or just somebody saving up for retirement, you have to be aware that you could be the target of unscrupulous people. And if you’ve already become a victim, it’s important to take action.
To find out if you may be able to recover lost funds, get in touch with the Silver Law Group. One of our experienced elder fraud attorneys will give you a free consultation and go over all of your options. Call us toll-free at 1-800-975-4345 or send us a message through our online contact form.
The Silver Law Group is a contingency-based firm, which means you won’t owe us a fee unless we successfully get your money back.