SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — There are new details on a lawsuit filed against a water machine company accused of deceiving customers across the country and here in San Diego.
ABC 10News first exposed the allegations last year and has a new interview with the Florida Attorney General whose fighting for compensation for the victims. A 23-page complaint details the Florida-based company Trusii's alleged deception and unfair business activities.
Last year, ABC 10News introduced viewers to Margaux Gunning of Scripps Ranch. The former yoga instructor and clinician has a debilitating form of Lyme Disease.
"My life looks like my nightmare," she said. "Severe, severe sweating [and] brain fog. At that time, [my]lack of appetite was pretty bad."
After a series of failed treatments, Gunning discovered Trusii, a water system with touted health benefits.
"'Oh, hydrogen water can eliminate viruses and the bacterial load? This is fantastic,'" she said.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said that Trusii deceived its customers.
"Our office [sprang] into action," Moody said. "All in all, these consumers were saying, 'Look, we got tricked into buying these things. They don't even work, many times.'"
The recent lawsuit details how Trusii and four other people connected to the company enticed customers into buying the molecular water machines. The machines were deceptively advertised for their health benefits for treating over 170 diseases like cancer and diabetes.
"My office has taken action against [this company] that truly [was a] selling a scam [by] promising over 170 different types of ailments that could be improved by buying a water machine," she said.
The suit also claims that customers were offered an opportunity to receive a rebate in the form of a monthly participation fee. It would be in the form of or all of the purchase price if they satisfied the requirements of the case study program where they had to, in part, consistently post positive feedback and testimonials.
Gunning told ABC 10News that the company sent her a letter that outlined how she'd be paid monthly in exchange for participation and feedback in the study. She said she took out a loan for the nearly $10,000 machine but said it arrived broken and the reimbursement checks never came, despite her reviews. She said that her lender eventually let her out of her loan.
The Florida Attorney General's Office has received hundreds of complaints from customers, adding that most customers who filed a complaint signed up for the case study program. According to the lawsuit, when customers didn't get their payments or were occasionally sent worthless checks or checks written on closed accounts, the company ceased communications or falsely claimed that consumers did not complete the case study requirements.
Trusii co-owner Jeff Taraday declined to do an interview with ABC 10News about the new lawsuit. However, during ABC 10News' 2020 interview with him, he was asked, "Is any part of your business a scam?" Taraday replied, "Absolutely not."
Trusii's website now reads: "Since June 2019, Trusii has not conducted any business selling machines. We've tried everything in our power to take care of our clients and to fight the false narratives perpetrated against our company, but the attacks we've sustained over the past three years have left us without any options to move forward. As of today, September 1, 2021, we are reluctantly closing our doors."
The company also wrote that it will honor warranties and continue servicing systems for clients with expired or void warranties.
"Without commenting too much, you know, there may be criminal investigators looking at this as well and those would be separate actions to follow," Moody stated.
She is seeking full restitution for consumers, civil penalties for each violation, and permanent injunctions against the company and individuals involved.