Ohio A.G. Suing "Phony Charity" Over East Palestine Train Derailment

Twelve year old with collected charity donations

Photo: Getty Images

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WTVN)--The Ohio Attorney General is suing a man who claimed to be running a charity to benefit residents of East Palestine, following the toxic train derailment in February.

Mike Peppel is alleged to have presented his organization, the Ohio Clean Water Fund, as a nonprofit organization acting on behalf of Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, to collect emergency aid and bottled water.

The food bank complained to Yost's office that there was no affiliation between the two, and in the meantime, Peppel allegedly collected $141,000 as a result of the fraud, from about 3,000 donors.

Yost says Peppel did make a donation to the foodbank-- $10,000, or about 7% of the total money he raised.

The Attorney General is now asking a court for a preliminary injunction against Peppel, to "halt Peppel’s illegal activity, prohibit him from engaging in additional charitable solicitations and preserve existing charitable assets."

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