(CN) – Comic book creator Stan Lee, 95, is suing his former business manager in a fraud and elder abuse lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Friday, claiming that he stole over $4 million dollars and even set up a scheme to sell Lee’s blood as a collector’s item.
The lawsuit claims that Jerardo Olivarez, a former acquaintance of his daughter, took over the comic book legend’s finances and stole $1.4 million of Lee’s money, using it to buy a condo and start up a fake charity, among other allegations.
After the death of Lee’s wife in July 2017, Olivarez took advantage of Lee and had him sign over the power of attorney to him, according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
According to the lawsuit, Olivarez convinced Lee to spend $300,000 to fund a charity called Hands of Respect. Instead, Hands of Respect became a company that sold unauthorized Lee merchandise.
“Olivarez misled Lee and the public into thinking that it was a caring non-profit charity to ease racial tension, when in reality, Hands of Respect was just a scheme to appropriate funds from Lee and the public to enrich Olivarez,” the complaint said.
The company also sold blood drawn from Lee that was used to stamp comic books sold to collectors without his knowledge, according to the lawsuit.
“Lee never approved of the use of his blood as a merchandising item, or for any other use,” the complaint said. “Naturally, this compounded Lee’s grief and angst and caused him tremendous emotional distress.”
The lawsuit claims that Olivarez also spent $850,000 of Lee’s money to buy a condo for himself in West Hollywood.
Lee is seeking to obtain his financial documents from Olivarez and restitution.
Lee is represented by Jonathan Freund and Craig Huber of Freund Legal in Beverly Hills.