AG Ferguson files lawsuit against charity, misusing $1.2M for BIPOC communities

Sep 12, 2023, 1:51 PM

charity ferguson misusing...

SEATTLE, WA - February 9: Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks during a press conference at his office on February 9, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. An appeals court refused to reinstate U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing a Southwest Washington foundation for allegedly misusing grant funds meant to go to communities of color.

According to a news release, Ferguson filed the suit Monday in Clark County Superior Court, claiming that Ophelia Noble, executive director of The Noble Foundation, “misappropriated or failed to account for $1 million in charitable grants.”

More lawsuits: AG Ferguson sues O’Reilly Auto Parts over alleged pregnant employee discrimination

The Noble Foundation was founded in 2011, created to support “marginalized communities” and “provide nonprofit infrastructure to BIPOC-led sister organizations in Southwest Washington,” its website reads.

According to the lawsuit, Noble paid herself from the foundation’s fund and used foundation money to buy vehicles for herself and her mother and directed the foundation to buy her father’s house and then resell it to her at a deep discount.

The lawsuit names Ophelia Noble, the Noble Foundation, and several board members: Ophelia’s father Douglas Noble, Ophelia’s mother Alice Prejean, Alyce Noble, Joann Hampton and Virginia Prioleau.

“Preying on the generosity of Washingtonians is shameful — and unlawful,” Ferguson said in a statement. “We will hold those responsible accountable and work to ensure the diverted money is paid back and directed towards its intended purpose: advancing racial equity and serving communities of color.”

In 2019, the foundation received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Washington State Office of Financial Management in order to support the U.S. Census Bureau’s efforts to count historically undercounted communities. They also worked to distribute more than $1.3 million on behalf of Clark County and the Washington State Department of Commerce to communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, providing emergency rent assistance and cash assistance for general household needs.

The attorney general’s allegations of misappropriation go back to 2019 when the foundation paid Noble’s consulting company $310,000 for unspecified “executive director services” that were never approved by the board.

More on AG Bob Ferguson: Another judge sides with Wash. ban of assault weapon sales

Other allegations include Noble used foundation money to purchase a 2019 Nissan Armada, as well as a second vehicle, which Noble later transferred to her mother. Purchases totaling $65,000 that lack a clear connection to the charity’s purposes, including gift cards, meals, groceries, gas, travel, cell phones, personal clothing, and even alcohol and cigarettes.

Because Noble’s alleged misuse violated Washington’s Nonprofit Corporation Act, Ferguson said there are potential penalties of up to $5,000 per violation. Ferguson is also looking to ask the court to have all the misused money be redirected to a different charity and have The Noble Foundation dissolved.

Local News

autumn leaves...

Micki Gamez

Fall is coming to Western Washington and it will bring changing leaves

In about two weeks, Washington's autumn leaves should turn to gorgeous shades of orange, yellow and red throughout the Puget Sound area.

1 hour ago

driving school...

Sam Campbell

‘There’s no money’: Thieves break into driving school twice in last 6 months

The group of four suspects were last seen, all wearing masks, getting into a black sedan. Authorities released no further description.

2 hours ago


Heather Bosch

King County overdose deaths soar while experts worry new drug laws won’t help

From January through August, King County Emergency Medical Services responded to 5,645 overdoses while SFD responded to another 4,000.

2 hours ago

Image: Memorial Stadium was built in 1947 in honor of Seattle Public Schools alums who died in Worl...

Bill Kaczaraba

Redevelopment of Seattle’s Memorial Stadium takes another step forward

A Seattle City Council committee unanimously approved a resolution Thursday to support the joint efforts of the Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Center to advance plans to redevelop Memorial Stadium.

3 hours ago

seattle fentanyl...

Frank Sumrall

Police: Fentanyl pills being sold for as little as 40 cents in Seattle

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the CDC.

5 hours ago


David Bauder, The Associated Press

Rupert Murdoch, whose creation of Fox News made him a force in American politics, is stepping down

Murdoch inherited a newspaper in Adelaide, Australia, from his father in 1952 and eventually built a news and entertainment enterprise.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

AG Ferguson files lawsuit against charity, misusing $1.2M for BIPOC communities