OLYMPIA, Wash. - The state attorney general is suing a man who used to run an animal sanctuary in Forks, saying he failed to register with the state while raising $300,000 for his organization.

Stephen C. Markwell, founder of Olympic Animal Sanctuary, is accused of unlawfully soliciting and collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable donations while not being registered as a charity with the Secretary of State.

According to the Attorney General s complaint, filed Tuesday in Clallam County Superior Court, Markwell also failed to maintain records of how the charitable donations were spent.

When organizations don t comply with the law, we step in to protect both the public and the vast majority of our state s charities that do comply with the law, said Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Markwell's sanctuary has been a source of contention in Forks.

The Peninsula Daily News ( reports animal rights activists protested the sanctuary, alleging the dogs kept there were starving and living in squalor. After a series of protests, Markwell closed the sanctuary and turned 124 dogs to a New York-based animal welfare organization in December.

The Attorney General s action does not address allegations of animal abuse or neglect as those issues do not fall within the Consumer Protection Act or Charitable Solicitation Act.

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