The state says Edward J. Polchlopek III and his company, Altius Management of Nashville, raised more than $25,000 from contributors through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. Their stated goal was to create a deck of playing cards designed by a Serbian artist.
More than a year later, the 810 contributors have received neither the playing cards nor a refund. At least 31 were from Washington state.
Polchlopek, also known as Ed Nash, did not immediately return a phone message left at his office.
The complaint filed in King County Superior Court alleges unfair business practices and seeks up to $2,000 per violation.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a news release Thursday that the state wants to send a message that it won't tolerate crowdfunding theft.
In a statement, Kickstarter spokesman Justin Kazmark says, "We want every backer to have an amazing experience, and we're frustrated when they don't. "