Thursday, April 23, 2009
California-Based Online Retailer Charged with Operating Fraudulent Water-as-Fuel Scheme
“Ozzie Freedom” and 1 Freedom Inc. also deceived customers about income tax credits
AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has charged a
southern California businessman with violating the Texas Deceptive
Trade Practices Act (DTPA). According to the state’s enforcement
action, the defendant’s do-it-yourself manuals on installing
water-to-fuel devices in vehicles do not reduce fuel costs, increase
gas mileage or enhance engine performance.
Eyal Siman-Tov, also known as “Ozzie Freedom,” operates 1 Freedom Inc. and an affiliated Web site, water4gas.com, as well as several other online sites. In addition to his manuals’ claims about the benefits of water-to-fuel conversion, the defendant also falsely stated that purchasers who fitted their vehicles with water-to-fuel devices would be eligible for a federal income tax credit.
3,200 Texas customers purchased the manuals between October 2007 and
September 2008, when gasoline prices peaked. The so-called “Water4Gas”
manuals cost $97 for a two-book set.
The defendant’s Web sites claim that the manuals guide users through a vehicle modification process that purportedly allows customers to use water as a fuel source. To achieve this, the manuals claim to instruct customers how to construct an onboard “hydrogen-on-demand” device, which allegedly works with the vehicle’s battery to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen gases through electrolysis. The resulting mixture of these gases, called “Oxyhydrogen,” is then burned as fuel along with gasoline or diesel.
The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that Siman-Tov has no competent and reliable scientific studies to support his claims. For example, investigators have uncovered no reliable lab test results concluding that customers can expect the enhanced engine performance as described in the defendant’s online testimonials.
The Office of the Attorney General seeks injunctions to halt these unfounded claims, as well as civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and restitution for financially harmed customers.
Consumers who believe they have been defrauded by this or similar practices may call the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint hotline at (800) 252-8011 or file a complaint online at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov