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Water System Sellers Deceived Residents

Ventura County | IN BRIEF / PIRU

August 20, 2001|From Times Staff Reports

Employees of a Los Angeles company have been convicted of deceiving several Piru families to whom they sold water treatment systems.

Everclear Water Systems, company President Aurora Elizabeth Vergara of North Hollywood and salespeople Laura Indiana Ortega and Juan Castaneda Abanto, both of Sherman Oaks, were convicted in Ventura County Superior Court of several felony and misdemeanor counts. Sentencing is set for Oct. 4.

Authorities said the Spanish-speaking salespeople went door to door in heavily Latino parts of the county, telling families that drinking tap water posed health hazards.

They coaxed them to sign contracts for water treatment systems costing $4,000 to $6,000, when similar systems go for less than half that much in retail stores.

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