Theft charges dismissed for ex-manager of Marvel’s Stan Lee

A man in a suit puts his arm around an older man in a green sweater in front of an 'Avengers: Infinity War' backdrop.
Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan arrive at the world premiere of “Avengers: Infinity War” on April 23, 2018, in Los Angeles.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision)

A Los Angeles judge declared a mistrial and dismissed grand theft charges Tuesday against a former business manager of Marvel Comics mastermind Stan Lee.

Superior Court Judge George Lomeli dismissed the charges against Keya Morgan, who was accused of stealing from Lee, when a jury was deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of acquittal after two days of deliberations and a 2 1/2-week trial.

Lomeli said he was stepping in to clear Morgan of three felony counts of grand theft from an elder “in the interests of justice,” according to Variety.


Marvel maestro Stan Lee spent his decades-long career creating some of the most iconic comic book heroes of all time, from the Avengers to the X-Men to current box-office heavyweight Black Panther.

Nov. 12, 2018

“My client and I have spent four years proving his innocence and today we prevailed,” Morgan’s attorney Alex Kessel said in an email to the Associated Press.

Prosecutors had alleged that Morgan, 41, stole more than $220,000 in proceeds from three of Lee’s memorabilia signings about six months before the comics legend died in 2018. Morgan was arrested the following year. Initial charges against Morgan of elder abuse and false imprisonment were dropped long before the trial.

The prosecution argued during the trial that Morgan had preyed on Lee when Lee was in mental decline in the last months of his life, and acted without authority on his behalf.

Kessel argued that the missing money actually went to Lee’s daughter and heir J.C. Lee, who was a witness during the trial.

When he got his start in the 1940s, Stan Lee was embarrassed by his profession.

Nov. 12, 2018

The proceedings were largely overshadowed by the simultaneous trials of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and actor Danny Masterson, which were happening at the same time and on the same hallway of a downtown L.A. courthouse.

An after-hours email sent to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office seeking comment was not immediately returned.


Lee, the creative dynamo who co-created characters such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk for Marvel and made beloved cameos in the movies that featured his creations, died in November 2018 at age 95.