Feb 26, 2007

Illinois Water Scam Reaches Settlement

A water purifying company in Kane County, Ill., was forced to reimburse 12 families in the area who bought unnecessary purifiers after being told that their water was dirty.

The state attorney general’s office recently reached a settlement with Walter Mottilla and his three companies.

According to the Daily Herald, Mottilla sold water purifiers from 1998 to 2003 under the name of Pacific Aqua Pure and Pacific & Aqua Pure. Then, from 2003 to 2005 Mottilla sold the same products using the name U.S. Water Services. All three companies shared the same address in Aurora, Ill.

Mottilla must pay the families a total of $40,000 and void their contracts. Mottilla also has to pay $40,000 to the state’s general revenue fund. He may never again sell or advertise water purification and filter systems in Illinois.

The lawsuit states that Mottilla’s employees targeted Spanish-speaking residents in door-to-door sales calls. The employees pretended that they were testing the home’s water on behalf of the local governments and then told the customers that the water had serious problems. The sales calls were conducted in Spanish, but the contracts were written in English.

The attorney general’s office reported to the Daily Herald that customers were misled into believing the purifiers were necessary and were not told their consumer rights, as mandated by Illinois law.